Tuesday, June 22, 2010

T-shirt Skirt

What do you get when you take 2 XXL white t-shirts, some yellow dye, and me?
A yellow t-shirt skirt of course! I followed this tutorial and it was really quick.

This was also my first attempt at dyeing fabric, and it turned out perfectly. Quite fun!
I can tell the fabric I used is super cheap though, as the fabric stretches so much the skirt is falling off of me by the end of the day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

32 Weeks

Here are a couple snippets of some conversations I had this week (some at work, some just out in public).

Person 1: How's your baby?
Me: She's good?
P1: What are you having?
P2 (shouting across the room): She's having a girl! It's named Rico.
Me: Rico?!?! What are you talking about?
P2: You told me you were naming her Rico.
Me: No, I said Aurora. Not Rico.
P2: Oh, well it's practically the same thing.
Me: Not quite...
P1: A girl? How old is your baby?
Me: She's coming in 2 months.
P1: But how old is she?
Me: Well...she doesnt' have an age yet, but she'll be born in 2 months.
P1: How old will she be when she's born?
Me: Ummm, zero. Everyone is born zero years old.
P1: (Grins.)

(shouted from across the room): GIRL!
Me (looking that direction wondering what the ruckus is and finding the person staring at me waiting for a response): Yes. Good job.
(shouted again): I knew because your stomach is pointy!

P1: Girl, when are you due?
Me: Two months.
P1: Well, your ankles look good, but I can see that you've really put some weight on your hips.
Me: Ummm, yeah. I guess I was just built with child-birthing hips.

This is how I look:
Please, no comments on the hips! :)

In order to be responsible future parents, we went to the hospital tonight to tour the labor and delivery area. We got there, and it turns out the tours have been canceled since the H1N1 virus outbreak. Oh well, at least I can tell the OB nurse I tried.

On another grievous note, I found my first stretch mark last night. Well, actually there are two. And I think I saw a couple more forming today. Oh, the secret joys of pregnancy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Freezer Paper Tutorial

Well, here goes. I'm going to try and do my first tutorial showing y'all how to make a freezer paper t-shirt. Actually, Jonathan did the whole thing, so props to him.

First, find a t-shirt (or onesie). From what I found, they are cheapest at Hobby Lobby. Joann's sells 5 packs of onesies for around $10. Always pre-wash and shrink it in the dryer. I'm not sure what would happen if you did it the other way, but I don't want to risk it!

Next, find a stencil. Jonathan put this one together from a few different pictures. You can draw one as well, but the internet already has great stencils.

Next, trace it on the non-shiny side of freezer paper that you can buy at the supermarket.
Then, tape it to a piece of cardboard or cutting board and cut it out with an exacto knife/razor blade. (This sounds WAY easier than it is.) You have to cut out the part you want to be painted on, so save the outline, rather than the picture. The more precise you are, the better it'll look.
Next, iron some freezer paper to the inside of the shirt to stabilize it. All you do, is put the shiny side on the shirt and move the iron (on it's hottest setting) over it for a few seconds.

Then, iron the stencil to the outside of the shirt.
Once everything is ironed evenly, use matte fabric paint and paint inside the stencil. You can find fabric paint in most craft stores.
When you're done painting, it should look like this:
Then, the hardest part is waiting at least a few hours for it to dry. When it's dry, tear off the freezer paper.
And voila! You have a brand new, homemade shirt with whatever in the world you want to put on it! (This shirt is obviously an inside joke.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Cost of Insurance

I've talked in other posts about how much we love our non-insurance company. We almost ran into a couple of issues with them with Aurora (both of our faults), but they were willing to work it out for us.

With all of the baby stuff, we're considered self pay since Christian Healthcare Ministries isn't an insurance company. They're considered a cost sharing program. Turns out that self-pay patients get quite the bill cut compared to insured patients.

Every doctor's appointment I have, they immediately take 20% off of the bill just because I "pay in full" the day of the appointment. On top of that, I'm paying significantly less to the doctor for delivery. It all has to be paid up front, but Aurora will be paid for in less than a month. And...when we got another bill for a lab test, all I had to do was call them up and ask for a discount because I'm "self pay" and they took 25% off the bill.

Yesterday, I called the hospital where we're going to be delivering to talk about payment options. The first price quoted to me of what they charge for a no complications, regular, vaginal delivery plus 2 night stay was between $10,000-$11,000 dollars. Ridiculous, right? So, then I asked about self-pay patients. How much was it? Just guess...$3250. Yep, they hike up the prices 75% for insurance companies.

So, if we were insured, including doctors appointments, the doctor bill for delivery, and the hospital, a baby would cost around $20,000. Instead, it's costing around $8000.

Most people don't care because their insurance company is being charged all of the expenses for it, but lots of insurance companies only pay 80% or so, and the patient pays the other 20%. But, with Christian Healthcare Ministries, all we pay is our monthly fee ($150 for the maternity program) and the first $500 is "personal responsibility". But, get this: anytime I receive a discount for being self pay, the difference is applied to my personal responsibility. So...the $7000 I'm discounted by the hospital applies to my personal responsibility, therefore meaning I don't owe anything.

So, what it comes down to is that we're paying no more than $1500 to have our baby. We know quite a few people who have had to pay more than that, just paying 20% (or whatever) from their insurance charges.

But, do you want to know the very best part? The money we contribute monthly, when not going to us, is going to assist others needs. It's not going to "the man." We can go to whatever doctor we want and get whatever procedures we want without being questioned. (There's no extra charge for epidurals, though they cost $1500 at least.)

So, the point of this post is to encourage you to re-think about what you're spending on health insurance, where the money you spend is going, and if it's really worth it.

We highly recommend Christian Healthcare Ministries. If you have any more questions about it, feel free to ask us! Oh, and if you switch, make sure to let them know we recommended you!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Freezer Paper Onesies

Decorating shirts and onesies with freezer paper stencils has pretty much become our favorite project. It's quick, easy, and super fun.

Here are our latest projects:

Another happy whale for friends who are waiting to be surprised with baby's gender.

These are for our nephew, Alex, who was born early last week.

We both LOVE the baby ninja. So fun!!!

Nesting Blocks

Following this free tutorial, I made Aurora her first toys (that she won't enjoy for months)! The tutorial is pretty easy, but don't underestimate the amount of time it takes to make these. And, if you're a perfectionist about everything lining up perfectly, this probably isn't the project for you.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Freezer Paper Onesies

Decorating shirts and onesies with freezer paper stencils has pretty much become our favorite project. It's quick, easy, and super fun.

Here are our latest projects:

Another happy whale for friends who are waiting to be surprised with baby's gender.

These are for our nephew, Alex, who was born early last week.

We both LOVE the baby ninja. So fun!!!

29 Weeks

It's hard to believe I have 2 1/2 more months of a growing belly! I've been feeling surprisingly good for my 3rd trimester. Apart from daily cramps, occasional kicks to the bladder, and what feels like hundreds of bathroom trips a day, life is pretty easy. It's getting a lot harder to move around though. I think I've always taken bending down to pick something up or leaning forward for granted.

Jonathan and I had a great weekend. I worked at the coffee shop all day Saturday, but he came to work with me, and did some reading. Saturday night, he surprised me by buying me a dress I had commented on in passing when I saw his sister wearing it a few weeks before. (It was his first clothing purchase for me and definitely a success!) Then, we used a gift card and went to Cheesecake Factory, which we love. Sunday, we went to church and spent the afternoon at a Pascual get-together delighting in our 5 day old nephew, Alex. Yesterday, we relaxed all morning and painted Aurora's crib yellow. I can't wait to put it all together and finally post pictures of her room.

We were dog sitting and took Charlie to the river to play for awhile, while we enjoyed the beauty of where we live.

I also cashed in on a coupon for a free hair color and cut from a super nice salon on Friday. I was ready for something dramatic, so she chopped my hair. I'm still figuring out how to make it work, but I love it. It's very Molly Ringwald circa 1985.