Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spite is a dish best served...at your child's expense

Haha....I can see I have some explaining to do. First I must note - no children were harmed in the making of this blog. 
Last night Derek and I got into a pretty heated debate (argument) about a recent lot of gymboree (baby clothes) I bought on ebay. He claims I care too much about name brands, etc. He also states I have a "problem" when it comes to buying clothes for Annabel, which infuriated me. (How do you ladies react when your husband says you have a "problem" with anything?) He made the point that we are low on funds right now and it is silly to be buying summer clothes in the middle of January. 
Okay. In black and white, these arguments seem pretty logical - but here's my side. 
1) First of all, I paid for these clothes with money I already had in paypal from selling on ebay, plus some of my own Christmas money. I didn't use any of our "income." 
2) Everything I buy for this child is gently used. All her clothes come from ebay, yard sales or consignment shops. Anything she has that is new is from her grandma or great-grandma, or I bought on opposite-season clearance for $2 or $3. Seriously. Not only that, but 99% of her toys are used, as well as all the furniture in her room. Don't get me wrong - she has nice things. She doesn't want for anything, and most of her clothes are gymboree, gap or children's place ("name brand," my husband would say). I just happen to be very resourceful in getting them. My thinking is that I would rather buy used gymboree than new Walmart. So that is why I so resented being told I have a "problem." I am not at the mall spending $300 on a new line of gymbo every other weekend, or $100 on a Christmas dress she'll wear once, etc. I am very conscientious in how I shop for her, but I just really, really like for her to look cute. Maybe it is pride, and that's not right- but she's just so darn cute its hard to resist!
3) This summer our funds will be even tighter than they are now - if that's even possible. Derek will no longer be driving the school bus, and I won't be getting paid at my internship - so I was trying to think ahead and buy for summer while we still have some disposable income. And by buying off-season, you save some money too. 

Oh yeah - one of Derek's arguments was that I am taking a big bag of hand-me-downs to the mission (they are truly some of the ugliest clothes I've ever seen- why do people hand this stuff down??) and she could wear these instead of buying more stuff. Sooo....

this morning I was still feeling a little miffed about the whole thing. So I got spiteful. While he was in the shower, I put Annabel in an outfit from the mission bag. The picture doesn't do it justice- red, green and black striped leggings, a pink flowered crop top, a stained Winnie-the-Pooh cotton cardigan, one red one green sock, and truly terrible white hightop orthopedic-type sneakers. I was prepared to send her to daycare in this outfit, and the look on Derek's face when he saw her was completely worth it. We had a good laugh, and he broke down and changed her. While dressing her in her cute Gap corduroys and tee shirt, I pointed out to him that it is important to him too that she look cute. He finally admitted that yes, it is. We were able to discuss our points and listen to the other's point of view. 
His real concern wasn't my buying habits, or really even the money. He becomes concerned that I put too much emphasis on clothes and looks. He doesn't want her to become a "snot" like her mom (his words) and have anxiety attacks in the morning when she can't find something to wear. He wants her to be able to enjoy being a child without worrying if her clothes are dirty or if mommy likes what she's wearing.

I hear that. I really do. My main priority as a mother is to teach my daughter that her worth and value comes from the fact that her Lord created her and loves her just the way He made her. I think raising a girl is such a challenge in that respect... its finding a balance between not finding your worth in man-made things, but still maintaining a healthy view of femininity and grace and who you are as a woman. 

I love the passage in Proverbs (ch 31) that discusses the wife of noble character. Because ultimately....isn't that what we're doing in raising our girls? Raising them to someday be wives and mothers themselves? (That's probably not a very politically correct feminist standpoint, Ha!) My prayer for my daughter is that one day her husband will praise her, and her own children call her blessed, because she is clothed with strength and dignity, she speaks with wisdom and watches over the affairs of her household without giving in to idleness, and most of all because she fears the Lord. 

So now that I am enlightened and see the "big picture" of things, am I going to choose to dress my child out of the mission barrel instead of the super-cute tennis match line of gymbo I just bought? Of course not! I may even make her a few custom pieces to match! I can also teach my daughter to appreciate the finer things in life and to be resourceful and scrappy just like her ol' mama. :)

Here are some pictures from the past week.

 She loves playing with her sock monkeys. The "daddy" monkey was one I made for Derek when he was in Puerto Rico. The "mommy" one is from Beth this Christmas. She likes to go "Eeee Eeee!, OhhhOhhh!" and scratch her head! Such an imagination!
 My avid reader

 I love to sneak into Annabel's room at night and watch her sleep. Creepy, I know:)  She is just so peaceful in sleep and I like to say a prayer over her. It gives me comfort to know that she is ultimately in the hands of the Lord. 
 I love the joy on her face in this picture! Oh to be a kid again.
Saturday Annabel and I went down to Indy to meet my mom and grandma for lunch and some shopping. I didn't have any money to spend, but Derek was working and I didn't have anything better to do, so we went and had a good time. The weather was so bad, I probably shouldn't have gone, but we made it safely there and back! We had a wonderful lunch at P.F. Changs (yummy!) and then headed to Keystone. My grandma bought Annabel this adorable tutu at -where else?- Gymboree:)
 Tutu cute. 

Sunday, Derek had a catering job at a little bed and breakfast up near Shipshewana, IN. (way north). It was so snowy there! So we headed up Sunday morning and got to stay the night in a very luxurious suite. The dinner was a success. He made all sorts of fancy French-sounding things that I wouldn't even begin to try to spell. Even though it was mostly work, it was a nice get-away and the whirlpool tub at the end of the day was totally worth it:)
 Preparing the caprese (sp?) salads
 The appetizers - clams casino and a broiled feta/olive/red pepper on pitas
 A delicious poached pear dessert
 "Brrrr Daddy!"
 Keeping busy while daddy cooks - she was such a good girl
 An one point all three of us were in this tub! :)
I think I've mentioned before that Annabel is my little shoe girl. She loves to have shoes on her feet and will scream until you put a certain pair on. Here are a few pictures of her ridiculous shoe choices this week:
 These Crocs are a size 7 (she's in a 4). They were ridiculously big on her and she kept tripping all over the place. Still, it didn't keep her from wearing them all afternoon!
 Here are the hideous, offending white sneakers once again...I think they go great with her pajamas! I really think she would have worn them to bed if I had let her. 

Finally, one of my New Year resolutions was to spruce up our living room. I bought this shelf at an antique shop and replaced the tired old fabric square that was up there. I also got these awesome frame on clearance at KMart and they were totally affordable. A new plant and existing vases makes my transformation complete (for now!)
 Oh yeah, i got this big frame at Ikea last spring but didn't have a picture big enough to put in it (11x14 I think - expensive) so I used my creative talent to make a collage of sorts. It kind of reminded me of being in college, but I really liked the end results and it was much cheaper than getting a huge photo made!

Edit: I also wanted to add that in the title post I am not trying to put Derek down or "bitch" about anything. I am comfortable writing about our marital conflicts only because I am so secure in our relationship. Derek is a respectful and caring husband and I don't give him near enough credit for all he does for us. He truly has Annabel's best interest at heart and sometimes I am too hard-headed to get that!!


Paula said...

I LOVE the arguments that we have where one of us stomps off to the other room (Derek in the shower while you dressed A in her goofy stuff), and then comes back only to laugh at the craziness of our argument. Those times are when we find ourselves truly listening to the others point of view and considering what they have to say without being angry. And then we laugh like crazy at how silly we were just a few minutes earlier.

And tell Derek to send us the recipe for that feta/pepper on pita stuff - looks yummy!

Betsy said...

boy clothes are much easier. *sigh*

Jason and Lisa Jones said...

thanks for sharing. It is nice to know other couples have arguments... That seems obvious but I mean have healthy arguments... :)

Rock 'n Roll Momma© said...

i say it's better to vent about your little spats to get it out in the open rather than act like you never ever have words with each other. it's human nature to disagree, and it's healthy to get that stuff out so it can be resolved :-)

and i totally get you on the clothing issue. i have some older hand-me-down stuff that is ONLY for javen to wear at home, i will NOT let him out in public in those certain outfits. if we're going out, he's gotta look sharp. i think the name brand shouldn't be an issue if you are truly getting a great deal on it. there's a children's sale held twice a year at woodlawn christian and i LOVE going there because i snag some awesome name brand duds for him at rock bottom prices. glad you guys were able to come to an understanding, i know it's hard when the hubby says he has a problem with something (or at least it is for me!)

Melanie said...

Yes, thanks for sharing! I love the pictures, too! Except the one with Derek in the tub- it kind of caught me off guard! Haha!

Tera said...

Ok, well don't tell Derek I'm going to gymboree on Sat. morning to use all 5 gymbucks I have! I love my girls to look cute too...and I don't buy gymboree b/c it's "gymboree." I only buy things I like. I do love ebay though!!