The Best Loved Doll

I’ve been on Goodbye Blue Monday‘s etsy store too many times to count now. I really love her dolls and I have in my mind the one I’d love to get FireCracker. Aren’t they the cutest things?!

My hesitation is I wonder if she will say goodbye to “Amy”. Surely she will let go of her hard, plastic, old (as it in was my babydoll when I was little) doll. Surely. Right? Don’t get me wrong, I love(d) Amy too. You can tell how well loved she’s been. My grandma made her little nightgown probably close to 25 years ago. It does make me happy that out of all the new dolls FireCracker has been given…she chooses Amy. I think these are some of my very favorite pictures of her at this age.

(yes, she still has the tattoo….the monkey was her biggest brother’s)

a doll and a Lego…



Have you ever heard of the book, The Best Loved Doll? It is one of the sweetest books…should be a classic in my opinion. We don’t read many books about dolls around here, but one day I hope FireCracker enjoys this book as much as I did as a little girl. I sure could handle reading it every once in a while instead of books about putrid ponds, galaxy battles and squirmy worms!

Reek Reek Reek


We love Amy, but I think FireCracker has enough love for two babies. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to order her one of those sweet dolls for her 2nd birthday. It would be nice to have a doll laying around that wasn’t a little creepy (we love you Amy…you aren’t creepy at all…really we like your paint peeled won’t open eyelid)

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  • RachelC - I laughed out loud at the “reek, reek.” That is hilarious!! I love that Amy’s nightgown says “Amy.”

  • Corey Moortgat - Oh, you’re so lucky she likes a doll (especially one that used to be yours!) with all those boys around. I’ve tried and tried to encourage dolls with my 19 m.o., and she just hasn’t really taken to them yet. She’s definitely more interested in her older brothers’ toys…!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Oh- those dolls are so cute! I love that shot of Firecracker rocking her baby back and forth. So sweet!
    My daughter has never played with dolls. She prefers babies of the furry variety.

  • Lesley - Oh Amy! This reminded me of “Teddy” my bear that got a scar. I have it in P’s room and wonder if she’ll love it like I did?

  • Jaimee - These pictures are SO so sweet!!! Golly <3

  • Kristin Eldridge - It so cute that she loves a doll that you played with. Precious.

    She’s a cutie.

  • Cherron - Oh, The Best Loved Doll!!!! I adored that book as a child and had forgotten about it. This brought back SO MANY memories, thank you. Now I need to see about getting my hands on a copy to read to my little ones.

  • Brook S. - I thought getting a shiney new bear for my oldest boy (when he was younger) would sway him away from the tattered and worn bear that he slept with every night that also used to be mine. He is now 6 and still sleeps with that old bear…there was never any equal love for any other stuffed animal. I love that though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenny Joy - Amy is downright charming. And Firecracker is pretty darn cute as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And by the way, I’m going to have to limit my visits to your blog to once a week or so. Too many cute little kidlet pictures… including adorable toddler toes. TODDLER TOES, PEOPLE!!! It makes me want to *gasp* have another.

  • Julie - oh my gosh! i have that doll! she was my baby! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never heard of the book though. Sweet, sweet pictures!

  • amanda torres - I would not want Amy in my room when I go to bed. Waking up to her would be a little 1950’s scary movie-ish. It’s funny how kids just find such joy in the things we think are overused or old. Really special.

  • ryanne - OH, those pics of your daughter in her rocking chair with the baby doll and monkey absolutely made my day. And, thank you for sharing Goodbye Blue Monday.

  • Mariah - You almost made coffee come out my nose. No, you aren’t creepy at all, Amy…

  • tammy - I wouldn’t worry about her forgetting about Amy. My daughter is now 8. She’s had many dolls come and go but her favorite is still one she was given for her 1st birthday.

  • Herta - Love your post, got me thinking about my daughter’s “baby”; the doll went everywhere and she too had a dude eye but she was SO LOVED. Amy, my daughter is now 15 and “baby” still sleeps in her baby cot, in Amy’s room but she doesn’t ‘get out much’ these days. Lovely memories…thank you! I agree with Jenny Joy, love toddler toes!

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails - Good luck with replacing Amy, although if Firecracker does choose the new doll over her, itd be great marketing for Goodby Blue Monday:) Im speaking from experience here. My 7 year old(yes you read that right) is still attached to her beloved “Mr. Bear.” Long story: I got mr.bear as a baby shower gift and this DD took to him from the time she was about 6 months old. He used to play a lullaby when you pulled this chord near his tail but after washing him(out of necessity) he no longer played the music. She doestn care though and still takes him everywhere. Shes growing up enough to leave him in the car but he still has to go with us:)Its funny how attached our kiddos can be.
    But Im totally with you on this: those dolls are adorable. Id love to get the BabyBeBlessed dolls for my girls and have their baby dedication verses sewn onto them.
    Have a great day now that Ive rambled on so:)

  • beki - Yes, I love that book! My girls have my copy from when I was little.

  • jami nato - although one doll is “cuter” than the other…one is much more loved. that is too sweet…

  • Jenni - I had forgotten about “The Best Loved Doll”. Now, I need to get a copy! My sister had a creepy doll. It was a Hug-a-Bunch–does anyone remember those? They were soft, but their eyes looked kind of freakish.

  • Juli I - The Best Loved Doll was my favorite book as a child. I never owned it but got it from the library over and over and over. I remembered the story but couldn’t remember the name of the book. As soon as I saw it in your post I knew it!! Thank you for bringing it back to my mind!

  • steph - oh man!
    i think it’s utterly adorable that she chooses amy over all others.
    really… it’s like some special story or something.
    yeah, those old dollies are a little creepy.
    tell me, does amy say, “mama, mama”?
    i had one of those. oh man!
    she wore blue fleece pj’s and had the scary eyes too. ha ha!
    but i have to say that those goodbye blue monday dolls are fantastic!
    even just for a keepsake to keep on firecracker’s shelf or something.
    so sweet!

    ok… now i have to ask…
    is that a real eames rocker?
    and where did you get it?!
    i want one so bad!!!!!

  • Katherine Bach - I LOVE her doll, and it is so sweet that it used to be yours! I had a fabric doll similar to the ones you posted made for my daughter when she was that age. She didn’t get attached to it like I hoped she would… but it looks adorable sitting on her bed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Janelle Vano - Oh my goodness….your Amy looks almost identical to my Tina Baby!! I got Tina Baby for my 2nd birthday and I still remember the moment that I named her ๐Ÿ™‚ I had many dolls given to me over the years, but I never loved any of them as much as I loved her!!

  • ashlee - had a stuffed dog that was my dads…i still have him:) although he remains nameless:)
    i love making dolls for my kids…probably a bit too much:)

  • The Old Block House - I have boys. The oldest destroyed the only Barbie I ever had. Mom through out my three baby dolls. (Thank goodness I took my teddybear away with me when I left for college!)

    So I think I’m going to get a baby doll and give it to a little girl I know who will love it! I know just the special little girl.

  • Amanda Villarreal - Oh you are such an enabler. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love all of the shops you find on Etsy and just bought a doll for my daughter from this store. I bought Cara! She resembles my daughter so I thought it’d be perfect. I havent read that book but Im going to check it out.

  • Amy - I had a doll like that when I was little too! Except I felt she needed a haircut, but with painted on hair, that was a tricky task. So I found the only hair she had – her eyelashes! I ended up completely poking out her right eye, so just be glad that Amy doll still has both eyes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa Johnson - You made me cry this morning! (hormonal much? :). My girls are nearly all grown up. Firecracker is absolutely adorable. Soak up every moment. My girl’s favorite dolls live on shelves or in the closet now. You always bring back the sweetest memories with your pictures. I wish I had a camera busy in those days. These pictures of your little ones are treasures now, but just wait a few years! Now that I have 5 teenagers in my house, I’m trying to follow your lead and be intentional and soak up the moments. I’m getting the camera out right now! I’m going to take a picture of my overgrown 14-year-old son moaning over doing his literature homework. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Charity - What a great post. With three boys, I don’t have my dolls out (they’re at my parent’s house). Not that my boys wouldn’t play with them (I’m sure my husband would love that), but it’s so great to read about sharing that with your daughter (and the hope still remains that after 3 boys a girl is possible). I also love the idea of her own doll. Something for her to share later in life. Thanks for posting and letting me into your thoughts.

  • Jill - Those dolls are TOO CUTE! Thanks for introducing me! Oh, and Firecracker is also too cute! Love your blog – it is my fave!

  • windie - i also had this same baby doll – in fact it was my first doll; my older brother asked Santa to bring his baby sister a doll for Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€ Her name was just “baby” and at some point i traced the swirl of her hair with a blue ink pen! Baby was trendy before colored streaks became popular! ๐Ÿ™‚

    i love that Firecracker chooses Amy over any other doll – that’s just so sweet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mirys from Brazil - Hi girl!

    How are you doing, today?

    I started to translate all my blog in English. It is so big and I have so many posts but Iยดll (eventually) achive my goal! You just have to search for the “english” icon in the end of the pages. You click there and every post with English original (means my!) translation will be listed.

    For now, I have this post that was my first one after the accident.

    Hope you can understand a little bit more my story of life.

    Kisses and blessings.
    from Brazil

  • Julia - How sweet that her best loved doll was her mama’s doll:) I love it! We found the book The Best Loved Doll last year, and it has become one of our favorites! What a sweet post today:) And those new dolls are pretty cute too!:)

  • Cali - Seen this? It’s an idea, anyway…

    I think my girls would love them.

  • racheldenbow - REEK, REEK, REEK! You are too funny. I get a little creeped out by dolls with blinking eyes which is why I totally vote for going with the soft doll above. EEEE!

    Also, last night in my dream we were neighbors and I came over and you guys gave me a tour of your house and there was a big party in your garage with movies. There were potted plants everywhere in there. Not THAT kind of potted plant party…but, everyone was happy, nonetheless.

    Thanks for being a friendly neighbor! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Carrie - My 3 year old daughter saw Amy from across the room came over and said, “That is a very nice baby doll.” She has her own well-loved doll and saw the same character in Amy.

  • Melody Strayer - Have you seen Martha’s tutorial for making a very similar doll? You could whip up one (or 7) for Firecracker.

  • Kassie - I love that book! Very cute and I agree, it should be a classic! Sweet post and sweet pictures! =)

  • Natalie - Yeah, I’d say Amy leans towards the creepy side of life…

  • Kacy Mehlem - You might also check out “Baby Dear”, a Little Golden Book about a girl who just got a baby sister and a new baby doll on the same day. I had it when I was little and love reading it with my daughter. Out of print, but can find on ebay.

  • Erica Buchanan - this says it all, “Love really is blind, isn’t it?” LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Very sweet. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mirys from Brazil - Dear Ashley:

    Continuing to translate the main pages of my blog, here is a little of “my side” of the story..

    When you have some time… read my way to deal with certain things.

    See you, girl.
    from Brazil

  • giozi - Is so tender.

  • Kristin Bommer - LOL Amy *is* pretty creppy! But firecracker is looking adorable as always!

    I thought of you yesterday. I bought myself some adorable shoes at Target. Girl’s size 3.5! $9.99 baby ๐Ÿ™‚ You are my foot twin haha

  • Sara - Such sweet dolls! They kind of remind me of the ones Emily from Jones Design Co. made for Christmas gifts: But they require a pattern and I know how you feel about patterns. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I share the same sentiments!) I wish my daughter played with her dolls, instead, her 2 year old brother does. It’s the cutest thing!

  • Shari - I was just talking about “The Best Loved Doll” at our book club this morning! It IS a classic and I thank my lucky stars that I recently found my old copy, and now I get to read it to my daughter!

  • the whyte house - i love this…reminds me of the doll my friend pulled out to share w my kids. her doll looked like it had mange. lol. my daughter plays with my first baby doll…a doll that is missing about 4 fingers due to my sister chewing them off. i like how you wrote her name on her dress. that may be my favorite part. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Leanne - Mine carries around her little preemie cabbage patch doll. I love it! she also has 1 little soft doll that she sleeps with only. Maybe Firecracker will do the same?

  • Joy Fisher - I have that very same doll and have now given it to my daughters. They play with it, but it’s not “the one” for my oldest and my youngest hasn’t quite made the decision about what her chosen toy will be. My doll was named “Tommy” because when I was little I had another plastic doll that was a bit bigger and since I was the oldest sister to a younger brother, I guess I figured the littlest doll must be the boy/brother, so Tommy it was.

  • Jen - I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and I really enjoy it! I too love the crafty/DIY stuff. Your style is great. My kids and I made the mini lego figs and we brought some in for my daughters class to paint. I love taking pictures. I would be a perfect candidate for your photography class. My new Nikon stays on auto far too often. If you do continue your classes, I may just plan a trip if I can get a spot! I don’t know if you have already seen this video/essay:
    I thought you would like it. Beautifully written, great quotes within. Might need some kleenex! I am not a “commenter” kind of person, but I wanted to thank you for all that you share on your blog. Funny how a blogger can feel like a friend!

  • Mindy Harris - this post is precious, beautiful, a little silly, and makes me want to cry!!
    your pictures are just so wonderful to look at. inspiring.

  • Erin - This is very random but I love that Firecracker is still rockin’ her foot tat in these pics! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Laura - Loved that book so much, and my daughter loves dolls so much that we made her 3 year birthday party a “Best-Loved Doll party,” complete with all the fun activities the girls do in the book, pink parasols, and invitations to match the one in the book. Each girl brought her own best-loved doll–so fun!

  • mindy t - You will love the goodbye blue monday dolls. I got my daughter one for her first birthday and we love her.

  • naomi - Hi ya Ashley, I was just looking at your floors that you have painted white, with my own attempt, at it a few weeks ago, noticed the yellowing effect as well. I wonder how them magazine get them looking sooo nice. I was a bit frustrated at first as so much time and effort went into it…
    Looks good any ways, love your blog (I am such a stalker) lol

  • Molly - My 2.5 year old, cricket has the most dilapidated doll you ever saw. Old, cloth body, plastic arms and legs that are all literally hanging on by a few threads. I had her pick dolls from the Wee Wonderfuls book and I made adorable cloth beings for her. No dice. Santa brought her a new cloth doll with plastic arms and legs. Nada. Grandmas have bought darling cloth dolls for her. Still, her one true love remains the dilapidated baby. Just a warning. don’t be surprised if Amy sticks around:)

  • Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys - LOL. Love the note to Amy at the end.

  • Karla (LaPine) Swalve - I LOVE these dolls! Thanks for sharing the etsy store-I think I may just have to go and buy one. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved this post because my mother-in-law has a doll from when she was little that looks alot like Amy and hers is also very well loved-I think one foot is missing and part of an eye :)We always joke that it looks like it could come to life and kill someone-yikes! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope little firecracker loves her new doll!

  • Sarah Doerfler - oh, i love the toes! toddler toes are the best!

  • casey - The Best Loved Doll was my absolute favorite book of all time growing up… I finally hunted an old version down recently for my daughter.

    And I have a doll just like Amy too…. although my daughter didn’t take to her in the same way. She’s still my favorite though.

  • Darcie - Wow! Crazy. When I saw the dolls on the Etsy shop, I thought… those look like the ones from “The Best Loved Doll.” Took me WAY back, and I thought, “I will go find my copy of the book and buy one of those dolls for my 3 year old.”… Then scrolled down your post and saw that you mentioned it. I LOVE that book! And still have my copy from when I was a little girl. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • Book Hunt | MichiGirls - […] Among the other books that made their way home with me:ย  A Jane Austen literary critique and a favorite childhood book called The Best-Loved Doll.ย  I’m not alone in finding this story to be a treasure.ย  Enjoy a few photos and sentiments from another fan. […]

  • Yolanda - Hi Ashley

    It is funny,I had this same doll has a little girl and now it my daughter’s. She loves “Tanya”.

  • packing and unpacking » - […] clean up Legos each day without my help. I’ve told them we could lose a small child….or a creepy old doll…in all those […]