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Vive La Difference!

I’ve told my husband several times that we have no idea what it costs to raise a child. Yes, four years in, and I’m still saying this. Not because we don’t feed and clothe them, but because we’ve had so much help. When we had Joey, we had shower upon shower. Kevin didn’t believe that we could ever produce enough feet to fill the piles of socks that crowded us off the couch as I emptied the bags at home. Then came the first Christmas, then birthdays—more wonderful clothes. Basically, all I had to do was buy a stack of shirts and shorts in the Spring, and another stack of long-sleeved shirts and pants come Fall, and he would be set.

Oh, because shopping for boys is easy. That is, once you get over the disappointment in the sucky selection of colors and patterns. Some seasons, you even hit the jackpot and they have some halfway cute (and still affordable) options, but I never found myself tempted to fill the cart every time I entered a store. How many striped blue shirts does one kid need?

Then we had a girl.

Oh my goodness! As if it weren’t bad enough that there are so many cute cute cute options, she actually requires more. Well, “require” being a relative term. There’s no law stating that she can’t wear jeans to church on Sunday, but I prefer to at least throw on a skirt or dress, now that she’s a little older. When she was a newborn, though, she darn near came in her pajamas. Hey, it’s easier and more comfortable for everyone involved, am I right? But with the skirt comes the diaper cover, or leggings, and her hair needs to be handled, and it just seems so much more complicated and just…more.

But there were hand-me-downs to fill in the void. Oh, and were there ever, my friends! Between my sister and sisters-in-law, and one of my church friends, we’ve had a really good selection for every season so far. And that has helped to keep me honest, because every time I wanted to throw in a new outfit, I’d think,”Have you gone through the boxes yet?” Most of the time, I was able to resist temptation. Thus, it was a HUGE money saver. Also a sanity saver, because it’s like she changes sizes overnight, and I had this closet full of the next range right there at my disposal. Excellent.

Now, just when I’m about to go out with the old and in with the new, I come across fine re-fashioning tutorials such as this one (and have you checked out MADE? Oho!!), which get me super-inspired to breathe new life into old cast-offs.

(Oh, and cast-offs they were, because this here baby managed to befoul just about every onesie in one way or another…usually on the lower half. There are some things that just shouldn’t be passed along, don’t you agree?)

This particular onesie (size 3-6 month) has been sitting on top of the to-do stack for one month; the skirt fabric was right with it. Yesterday, I realized that it wouldn’t be done in time for Thanksgiving if I didn’t get cracking. A half-hour later, and it was done except for the hem. Once I realized that I wasn’t going to add any further embellishment (although I’m still toying with the idea), I put in the hem. That took another whole 15 minutes, so you can see why I put it off for so long.

What is wrong with me?

Anyway, I’m calling this one of the many joys of dressing a little girl: re-fashioning! I just can’t see adding patchwork to the bottom of Joey’s highwater pants and calling it a success. Not that I haven’t toyed with that idea, too. This thrifty stuff is like a drug, I tell ya! It’s like everything becomes a creative challenge, and I dig that.

Speaking of thrift, though, does anyone else find that they are more inclined to spend like a drunk when they have decided to tighten their belts? Because I’m really struggling with this! It’s almost as though I’d be better off without any constraints at all than to decide to try and go without, although I’m pretty sure that would be a poor idea. As it is, I’m having trouble not buying up new fabric like a squirrel gathering nuts for the long winter. If only there weren’t so many cool new lines coming out. It’s much easier to show restraint when there’s nothing I want, but–really–when is that?


3 responses »

  1. That is so stinking cute! Love, love, love it…would have been handy when Beanie was “burning” through her onesies!

    As for buying clothes for girls, I have just one thing to say…I told you so! I told, told, told you it would be hard to resist! :o)

  2. I always said it was good I had all boys, or I’d have been broke buying cute little girl clothes. Plus my boys see no reason why you need more than 2 pairs of shoes – tennis shoes and dress shoes. Well, and chore boots. But I am finding now that feeding 2 teenaged boys costs more than little girl clothes ever could, LOL!!


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