The Fashion Magpie

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 150: On Saying No and a $25 Ruffled Sweater I Need.

My Latest Snag(s): Children’s Casual Clothing.

I have been beefing up my childrens’ wardrobes recently — especially with easy-to-wear-and-clean pieces along the lines I shared here. Micro seems to have skipped straight from size 6-12 mo to 18+ mo (what…) and I’ve been scrambling to keep up. I did a big haul from Ralph Lauren (currently, so many basics are an extra 40% off!!), including these polos, which are marked down to like $9 with the extra discount, these tees ($5?!), and these sweatshirts. Also eyeing this set (free shipping with no minimum today!) and a spare pair or two of Osh Kosh.

You’re Sooooo Popular: A Dusty Rose Blouse.

The most popular items on the blog this past week:

+Gorgeous blouse (marked way down) in the prettiest dusty rose color.

+My favorite hair spray.

+A maternity must-have.

+The softest, most elegant napkins!

+The dress I wore last night to Le Coucou to celebrate Mr. Magpie’s birthday!

+I love love LOVE this eye primer. I often wear without any eyeshadow on top just to neutralize the lid and make everything seem a bit more polished.

+The best nursing bra, in my opinion — on sale in select colors!

+Lace-trim top.

+Classic button-in for a little boy.

+My favorite striped tee — on super sale.

+Adorable jumper for a little girl.

#Turbothot: On Saying No.

I have an irritating habit of over-explaining myself. It feels curt and potentially hurtful to respond to an invitation or a request with a decline, no matter how polite, and I am nearly always compelled to add: “I will actually be busy taking Hill to his checkup then,” or “I won’t have childcare for two weeks and I just can’t make the time for a call this month,” or “maybe another time, but…”

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when a well-intentioned friend asked me to do something with her that would have required substantial logisticizing (scheduling an early start-time with the nanny, moving an appointment) and that — if I am brutally honest — was not interesting to me, or at least not meaningful enough that I would shuffle my week around on its behalf.

I remembered, all of the sudden, something my grandmother used to say: “No is a full sentence.” And so I replied with a careful: “So kind of you — but, no, thank you. Let’s do something else soon.”

Can I be honest and say I still felt a twinge of guilt? And that I nearly cupped my hand to my mouth to prevent myself from spilling into an elaborate explanation of all the schedule-shuffling that would be required? And that I doted on that friend afterward, almost to compensate for what I felt had been a rude reply to her invitation?

But I felt something else, too. I was aware for the first time of a kind of selfishness in my auditing of the invitation. It was one of the first times where I did not reflexively say yes to an invitation, or rush to “make it work” despite the fact that I did not in fact want to go. And I told Mr. Magpie later that I think I have entered a season of life where I am becoming more ruthless with my priorities. For example, I find it difficult to commit to events and gatherings that start before 7:30 p.m. because I want to put my children to sleep — or at least one of them, so Mr. Magpie is not on his own. Putting them both to bed is doable (I do it routinely) but it often saps the joy out of bedtime, because both are sleepy and in need of my attention and so I am rushing through storytime while micro is whimpering on my knee, or shushing a whining mini while giving micro his bottle. And I have declined a few proposed getaways with friends because it is so complicated to figure out childcare and we are banking on the generosity of our parents for two trips we absolutely MUST make this year (anniversary and my sister’s wedding) and do not want to overstep our boundaries in that regard by squandering their offer to watch our children on a more frivolous excursion. For a time, I felt ashamed of this. I had friends telling me “oh but you really need to get away from your kids now and then.” I am certain they are right in that it would be restorative to get away for a few days (Mr. Magpie and I daydream about it regularly) but — I have decades and decades ahead of me where such trips are much more feasible and much less complicated. Micro is only seven months old! His care is still rather intensive. And ferrying mini to and from school on the subway with a baby in a carrier is no joke if you are on your own, especially if you are not from New York. And so would I tap a separate caregiver to help with transit? Etc.

Even now, as I write this, I am overexplaining it, maybe even to myself. Because the simpler answer is no, thank you. I would rather be with my children. Or — it is too complicated to leave my children. Or — I am just not comfortable leaving my children. At least right now, at least at this stage.

I wonder how this sits with you, whether you have children or not. I feel in some ways that the ambient culture has been all about “saying YES to adventures” and “the year of yes” and “yes, and.” You can scarcely open Pinterest without a meme telling you that you should embrace your bias towards action — JUST DO IT! LEAN INTO ADVENTURE!

And so this message may read maverick.

What are your thoughts?

Post-Scripts: A $25 Ruffled Sweater.

+This ruffled sweater is so pretty. And this similar one so sweet on a little one.

+Is it too early to be planning for the fourth of July? (Or, if you’re the dramatic type…!!!)

+Finally bought a Vitamix for our kitchen — we have basically every other kitchen gadget and tool under the sun, but were stubbornly hanging on to an old, passably-workable blender we bought before we were married that can barely puree cooked vegetables. Very excited to work smoothies and acai bowls into our breakfast routine!

+I forgot to mention in my Valentine’s Day post that I am giving this book to mini and this one to micro for the occasion.

+Planning to reupholster two x benches that have been thoroughly destroyed with grubby fingers over the past two years, and want something in a bold red/coral/orange print. Eyeing this fabric or this one.

+So fun for a playroom.

+Dream china, in petal pink!

+Dying over this coat for mini (on super sale).

+Love a leopard situation, and this is 50% off plus an extra 20% off!

+Finding it hard to resist this HVN silk dress, marked down to like 80% off with the additional 20% off promo…!!!!

+I buy mini a Minnow swimsuit each summer. They are so expensive but absolutely precious. I think this one might be my pick for this summer.