What an odd thing to lie about. Hang on, does she think Kohl's is a thrift store?
Ah, the dutiful son! I am also married to one of those. I got no advice just sympathy. ;)
In a situation like this, you have to consider what her intent is. It's not to lie to you, it's not to hurt you or your daughter... it's to do something nice for your daughter that she feels happy to do as the grandmother. If the lying becomes a habit, you could always say "ya know, those clothes you got from 'Kohls' (or wherever) were nice, but next time just know it's okay to tell us where they really came from". Grandparents spoil their grandchildren, that's just what they love to do. Now if it gets out of hand- like showing up w/ a flat screen tv... which my mom did for our 3 year old (at the time) for xmas, then you will just have to confront her and put your foot down. Until then, purchasing new clothes here and there seems very minimal when you look at the big picture.
I do completely understand the lying aspect bothering you, so if it happens again I would say something, but just one little white lie can't harm anyone ;)
I agree with Shannon :)
I have admit...its pretty bizarre what she did... Its definitely not what my MIL would do...I would have confronted her despite my husbands feelings and tell her to be straight next time... and tell her you hate being lied to... Itll really help to solidify the bond between you two. My MIL and I never got along well in the beginning but 1 year later...we both were tired of being so distant and clashing....we sat down and talked are issues threw EVERY TIME we have a conflict...and now we go and shop together.... ITS AMAZING!!! So i say forget your husband and do what you think is right!!!
Vent away! Mother in laws is a topic I think we all can share in venting about hehe. Good luck with all of that. I'd just take the clothes and be happy, but being lied to is awful... sigh.
I would be upset to be lied to about this sort of thing also. But think about it this way. The woman is trying really hard for you to like and accept her. She wanted to get her grandchild something new, but she knows of your preference for second hand items. Perhaps she likes to avoid confrontation just as much as your husband, which is why she lied. If I were you, I would let her know that you appreciate any gift, new or used. My mom and MIL likes to buy clothing also. If they get something for my daughter that she doesn't need, I will say something like "That outfit you got her is too cute. But we have a lot of (insert age here) clothes. We don't have much (whatever we happen to need.. the next size up or next season's clothes)" That way, they get to feel like they're spoiling my child and it saves me money.
As for the Tangled doll and dress.. you can always re-gift the brand new one to someone else. If it were your parents who got her the gifts, would you say "Take it back. We already have it." ?
It sounds like it's just certain things here and there that really just get under your skin (I can totally relate, it's just something that comes w/ the MIL subject). I know it can be hard to bite your tongue at times... but what I'd suggest is consider in the long term how long you will be upset about the things she does that bother you. If it's something that you think will harbor negative feelings and will keep you upset for longer than a day or 2, than it's probably worth hashing out (whether you approach her yourself about it, or your husband sorts it out w/ her). If it's something that will probably roll off your back w/ in the day or 2, than it's probably not even worth your energy to sort out. You certainly don't want resentment to continue to build b/t you two... so just pick your battles wisely and determine if they are worth hashing out or not before confronting her about it.
Also, if you really have no need for the items she is buying, you can always donate the toys/clothes to a homeless shelter w/ your daughter and turn something that seems so negative, at the time, into something very positive (it can be a great learning experience for the kids, my daughter loves to give away her stuff she does not use to those who can use it)! Just seeing the look on some of these kids faces when you come in w/ a bag full of toys is just heart-warming... you'll walk out w/ a huge smile on your face and forget all about the MIL drama, trust me!
I think Shannon's advice is right on!