Isn’t this outfit gorgeous? I looked up the company that made it and discovered this little romper is “hand-sewn and exquisitely hand embroidered.” It seemed almost too lovely for a baby to wear.
I guess the person that gave it to me also thought it was too pretty to actually put on a baby. The person who gave it to me second-hand (in a garbage bag full of clothes) had never taken this little romper off of its hanger. It hung there, starched and perfect, with a matching dress for Lena to wear when she’s a little older.
What? you say. A garbage bag full of clothes?
Believe it or not, most of Lena’s clothes have come from garbage bags of hand-me-downs. In fact, thus far in Lena’s life, Elliott and I have purchased a grand total of… one… outfit for her. One.
This is not because we necessarily want to. I walked into Baby Gap the other day and caught my breath, amazed at the darling little clothes surrounding me, the potential to take out my credit card and purchase a miniature shearling jacket or a tiny rosette-festooned sweater or my favorite thing of all: a ruffle-bottomed little sleeper.
But we haven’t purchased much at all. We have instead been grateful for many welcome, baby! gifts of clothing from friends and family (thanks, Aunt Eden, in particular, for your hipster contributions for little L!) and gigantic bags of freebies from my Capitol Hill moms’ group. Our beautiful stroller, car seat, and baby carriers were all gifts, as were the spoons we use to feed Lena, the pacifiers we put in her mouth, the washcloths and soap we use in her bath, and the sheets on her crib mattress.
Frankly, finances are tight these days. We’ve had to make a concerted effort to save our pennies and say “no” to our [well, my] longing to purchase clothing that Lena will wear for a grand total of two months. I’ve also learned to say no to a lot of little flourishes (like these darling bows) or have found ways to make what we have stretch to cover new needs as they arise.
And so on this blog you won’t see a baby dressed in all the latest trends, unless those came in a bag of giveaways or were a gift. Lots of mommy bloggers take delight in dressing their babies, and I am definitely one of them. I love dressing up my cute baby girl! But on this blog most of the clothing we wear is well-worn or secondhand, and most of the adventures we take are free or budget-conscious, and most of the meals we eat are cooked at home or are picnics in pretty places. We take neither pride nor shame in this fact, since it’s just who we are right now, and probably who we will be for most of our lives. We value thrift and simplicity. We value the small things as we dream big!