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Moving to Bloominton Indiana

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Where to live? Any advice?
post #2 of 24
I see no one has responded yet...I can't recommend neighborhoods or anything, but Bloomington is a great town. I have family down there, and I love to go for visits. They seem to have a pretty crunchy community for Indiana and a baby store that carries a lot of cloth diapers, etc.

There's also a great OBGYN in Bloomington who is the only Doc I know of in the state who will back-up homebirthers. (Can't think of his name, but if you need it, I can look it up and PM you.)

Enjoy your new community!
post #3 of 24
I loved Bloomington! I lived on the east side of town and really liked it over there. The Bryan Park area is also a nice area to live. Plus, both places are closer to campus, which is nice if you will be attending the university.

There is a really nice HB back-up OB, there are also a few nice HB MW.

A great farmers market, lots of great restaurants, tons of events sponsored by the university and the city. Overall, a really great place to live.
post #4 of 24
OB dr is Dr Labban...GREAT dr! I used him as homebirth backup.
post #5 of 24
Where you live depends partly on what you want. I lived several years on the west side - further from most things, but notably cheaper than many other parts of town. I now live on the east side, not too far from the mall - more expensive, but two minutes from Bloomingfoods (the local food co-op), Target, and the two big bookstores, all of which I go to frequently.

Are you going to be mostly on campus? Working somewhere? If so, where is work? House or apartment? What do you like in a neighborhood? One of the great things about Bloomington is that it's not physically big so you can get almost anywhere by car in 20 minutes, maybe 30 right at rush hour. If you pick somewhere near downtown, you can cut that in half. If you don't have a car, you'll want to make sure that you're on a bus line and close to where you want to be because the bus system is not great. Tell me more about what you want and I might be able to make better suggestions for you!
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am not going to work anymore, I am now a SAHM of 2. We are moving due to my husbands job. (moving from indy) Right now we live in an old house built in the 40's which I will miss dearly. But I am very excited to have more land. We have 2 dogs and a cat.

We are dreaming of having a big garden, a big yard for kids to run, and space for our pets outside.

Is there an area to stay away from?

West side is cheaper, good to know.

Thanks so much for the help!!

(ps, we are purdue grads, so this might be a challenge )
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
If we do choose a neighborhood, are there any older neighborhoods? I love old houses.
post #8 of 24
You'll be surprised how many Purdue grads you manage to find around here. Though a lot of them do keep that information quiet! It is often assumed that everyone around here is affiliated with IU, but neither my husband nor I went there or are employed there.

There are LOTS of older neighborhoods around here. Near west side, Prospect Hill, Bryan Park, Elm Heights... other spaces that don't have "names" but are great older homes. If you're planning to buy, check out www.homefinder.org to find Bloomington listings. If your children will be going to public schools at some point, you'll want to pay some attention to what school you're districted to - Rogers/Binford, Childs, and University are widely considered to be the "best".

In general, I would avoid housing right near the area known as "The Hill", which is the public housing area (roughly between 12th and 15th Streets, from Monroe to Illinois). The reputation is worse than the reality, but there are still notably more drugs than you're going to want your kids around. I would also personally avoid anything in about a mile radius from the stadium - LOTS of loud, partying students, and I just don't want to be around that.

Bryan Park area is ideal for many families. It's mostly older houses (typically 1940-1965-ish, with some newer ones thrown in), the lots are genrally big enough to garden on and play in, and Bryan Park is a huge, very kid-friendly park with a public swimming pool, free concerts in the summer, and multiple playground areas.

Elm Heights is a beautiful area, large houses, large yards, very old and well-established, tons of trees... all really great stuff. It's also expensive and the houses there were well out of my price range. If you can afford it, it would be a great place to raise your kids and critters.

If you want a LOT of personal space, you might want to look at houses in Monroe County but outside of Bloomington city limits. I know there are some great houses east of Hwy 446, surrounded by woods, and have a good-sized amount of land. I like to be closer in to everything, but I know others who like living in Ellettsville, which is essentially the suburb of Bloomington, much more rural, and only 15 minutes west of B-town by car. Part of this depends on what you mean by wanting "more land" - our last house was on 1/4 acre, which was more than enough for me, and our current house is on 3/4 acre and only 5 minutes from downtown. I consider this to be a ridiculously HUGE yard, so if you aren't thinking in terms of multiple acres, there's plenty of houses with plenty of space in town.
post #9 of 24

Peds Doc

Dr. Franklin of Southern peds is a wonderful Doctor she does not question you if you are a nonvac Family.I would not go to Dr.Labban he is a very nice man but would not allow me to birth in the position of choice nor would he allow me or my husband to catch our baby.Dr.Labban wanted me to be on the bed with feet in stirups.To me this is not a naturalbirth so we drove to Methodist in Indy to deliver with a Midwife who understood birth a little better.By the way there are homebirth midwives in the area just ask around.
post #10 of 24
I don't know anything about Dr. Labban as a primary OB. The reason many love him is that he is about the only OB in the entire state that will back up HB midwives. So I'm seeing my HB midwife, check in with Dr. Labban three times during my pregnancy to establish medical prenatal care (even though he'll let me decline every single test if I want) and then if I have to do a hospital transfer, he agrees to let my MW continue to do primary care unless it is determined that I need medical intervention. Rather amazing to find any OB willing to do this in a state where HB MWs are not legal. I just had to sign a release that explained fully that he was not responsible if things go wrong due to my refusal of testing or my choice to HB. I also support him because he takes Medicaid clients - this is a HUGE need in our community and many of the pratices around here refuse to take Medicaid clients.

Other favorites around here for women are Liz McDaniel, a CNM at Southern Indiana Physicians for Women, who is the only MW with hospital privleges in Bloomington - she doesn't do HB though and her practice won't knowingly do any care for you if you intend to HB, so if that's you, then look elsewhere. Elizabeth Sabga is a gynecologist who does not do OB and is wonderful for those who are done having children (or never intend to have any); she's a big proponent of reproductive choice and works with many of the lesser-used forms of birth control.

Your only choices for pediatrics around here are Stephen Schechter or the doctors involved with one of the many branches of Southern Indiana Pediatrics. Some have better reputations than others, but they tend to fill up on clients, so new clients frequently end up having to take who they can get through SIP. Heather Franklin and Debra McDaniel (both under SIP) have very good reputations and are comfortable with a lot of parent choice in their care. SIP does have a 7-day-a-week urgent care clinic, which can be useful, but you have to work with whichever doc is on at the clinic that day. Some of the family docs have good reputations, but most won't take children until they are at least a couple of years old.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is all so helpful!! Thanks mamas and keep it coming!!
post #12 of 24
There is a fantastic resource in Bloomington. It is called Bloomington Area Birth Services. I know that you would find a wealth of info about good care providers and other community resources.


post #13 of 24
I'm an IU grad who lurks in this tribe just to read about B-ton. You are so lucky to be moving there! I'm jealous!
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am getting more and more excited to move!

Next question: Where can I find my food? Are there natural markets? Farmers Markets?
post #15 of 24
Farmers Market is every Saturday, I think 8-12. I might be an hour off on either the beginning or the ending time there, they changed it when Indiana started doing daylight savings time. During the warmer months it is in Showers Plaza (on Morton Street, between 7th and 8th Streets) and is pretty huge. You can get tons of stuff there. In the winter, it is held in the gym at Harmony School. There's a smaller Tuesday market during the summer, I think it moved it's location to the near-west-side Bloomingfoods last year, though I could be misremembering. There's also usually a few people selling outside the east side Bloomingfoods on Saturday mornings in the summer as well.

There are also a few CSAs in the area if you are interested in them. I'm trying one of them out this year for the first time.

Bloomingfoods is the natural foods co-op. They have three stores in town - east side, downtown, and near west side. You don't have to be a member to shop there. Membership costs $90 (I think) and you can spread that cost out over your first year if that's too steep for you up front; it's a lifetime membership once you've paid up. Members get 5% off one day per week.

For eating out, there are several restaurants around here that use local and/or organic foods. Bloomington has a TON of restaurants for its size, including lots of locally owned, and quite a lot of diversity in the food.
post #16 of 24
Welcome to Bloomington!

I love our CSAs! I do 2 veggie CSAs and 1 meat CSA. And we have a cow share for raw milk.

Summer markets are at the Showers Plaza on Saturdays, Bloomingfoods East on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and downtown (Bloomingfoods Near West? Showers Plaza?) on Tuesday evenings.

Winter market runs from January to April? at Harmony School.

The local restaurants are getting much better at sourcing their foods locally but you do need to ask.

Graham Montague is a great CST provider; he also does Classical Homeopathy and occasionally dabbles in flower essences. If you're in search of alternative therapies, that is.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Love it! Thanks for the alternative med recommendation!
post #18 of 24
Wow you guys make me want to move to Bloomington!
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
So we think we found a house in Sherwood Oaks. Im not loving the brady bunch bi level style but love the location.

Thanks for the help on where to live.

How does not vaccinating fly in b-town? Are schools ok with it?
What preschools do you reccommend? Are they ok with kids who arent vaxed?

Do you guys go to they YMCA? I heard its a really good one to join
post #20 of 24
Originally Posted by MamatoPeach View Post
So we think we found a house in Sherwood Oaks. Im not loving the brady bunch bi level style but love the location.

Thanks for the help on where to live.

How does not vaccinating fly in b-town? Are schools ok with it?
What preschools do you reccommend? Are they ok with kids who arent vaxed?
I don't know about the public schools yet. We go to Bloomington Developmental Learning Center, just north of the Y and of the Montessori School. BDLC accepts unvaxed kids but you have to provide a letter and claim religious exemption. I was told that a medical exemption is hard to get but around here, nobody will challenge a religious exemption.

My neighbor teaches at Campus Children's Center and I know a few families who go there - another good place besides the Montessori School. I had hoped to get ds into the preschool program at Harmony School, but the timing was off - we're holding out for grade 1 there. Staying at BDLC for kindergarten in the fall.

Indiana State Gov website has a listing of all home-based and center-based daycares/preschools, along with their inspection reports. Definitely worthwhile hunting it down!

Do you guys go to they YMCA? I heard its a really good one to join
We do not go - we prefer to exercise outside the confines of a gym.
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