We are moving to Bozeman, Montana in the first week of January (for my husband to attend MSU) and we are ecstatic. We've passed through Bozeman in our travels and though we nearly died coming through "the pass" in the dead of winter, I immediately fell in love- seeing a co-op on the corner, with a non-chain pizza shop on Main St and a bunch of small businesses on the same street, but still having some bigger chain stores I'm familiar with, I knew it would be perfect for our family. I am happy to have found a birth center seeing as I am expecting baby #2 in August, and hope it will work out to do a VBAC, Does anyone have any experience with the Bozeman Birth Center?
A little background:
My husband was in the Air Force for 6 years, so we have lived in quite a few places.... We are FROM Southern California, moved to Shreveport, Louisiana where we lived for 4.5 years during which time we spent 9 months in Minot, North Dakota, (just missed winter by a hair) separated from the AF and pursued education back in Shreveport, spent 5 months in Christchurch, New Zealand (and the earthquake happened first day of classes and sent us back here to Louisiana.)
We had plans to head back to CA, only this time to Los Angeles for education and were dreading it for many reasons, when along came the idea to look into MSU and I am SO very thankful that we did.
My biggest question is regarding clothing! Does anyone have any advice or links with helpful tips for how to dress in the Winter there? Do you wear snow boots to the grocery store or just regular tennis shoes? How do you dress your children and fit them in the carseat? The only time I've been in snow is passing through places or visiting the mountains in CA.
Second question: Are there any playgroups for stay at home moms, AP or homeschool type groups? We are a pretty quiet family and love spending time together, and would love to meet other likeminded people. I am planning to homeschool my littles when the time comes, and would love to make some new friends and get involved with the community.
I think that about covers it for now!
My name is Cindy and I run the local babywearing group and I mod the AP facebook page. Here are links for both those:
I have had lots of experience with both the Birth Center and the Birth Place. I recommend once you get here to interview both practices and make a decision on which midwife you fit with. Both come highly recommended, but I have my favorite. ;) I don't want to deter you from making a personal decision. There are other homebirth midwives as well if you are interested, I can give you names.
I am also from Southern California, San Diego to be exact. Don't stress about the clothes, it's pretty simple. Get some good boots. Get a nice jacket, buy a hat, some gloves. Done! :D Both hubby and I are huge fans of underclothes called "smartwool", we have at least a dozen items. Socks, gloves, shirts, beanies and the longjohn pants. Hubby wears them everyday, however I only wear them when it's really cold. I don't like to go outside too much.
Join the FB AP page and ask some more questions there, it is quite busy and mamas here love to help and talk.
Looking forward to meeting you!!!
Sorry I was super distracted by my babe and forgot to answer a few of your other clothing questions. My kids are MUCH
tougher than I am when it comes to the snow. They each have their own pair of snowpants, they wear their snowboots everyday during the winter (we invested in keen boots - we have at least 5 pairs at this point in various sizes), they each have a pair of gloves, a beanie and a nice winter jacket. One jacket is from old navy, one is from target, they all work great! You can definitely post on freecycle for a used free one or visit salvation army, etc. no need to go spendy or namebrand. Although we did have a few sets from Columbia and they were clearly nicer. For carseats - that is tricky. You really are NOT supposed to have the child in the coat in the carseat. You need to take off the coat, put them in the seat and then cover them up with the coat after they are buckled. In order to do this, it's key that your car has been warming up for 15 minutes or more. At least that is what we do.
Oh and there is also the Bozeman Homeschool Network on yahoo. I think a quick search on the yahoo groups will take you there. I rarely visit the yahoo groups. Also the AP group is there if you prefer that to facebook, although the FB page is WAYYYYY more active.
Ditto CindyCindy on the carseats in winter. Our girls wear fleeces (just light jackets) and then if it's colder, after they're buckled in I put their coats on backwards over their straps (I don't know if that's clear?). That way it's fast, they're covered mostly by their winter coat, and they have the winter coat readily accessible right away when we get to our destination. Sometimes it's just their fleeces, with mittens and hats, because we are not driving far.
Those little bucket car seats are a must with infants/newborns, because you can so quickly haul in and out of the car. We used a fleece cover over the bucket to keep babe warm and they were always toasty despite the cold.
I grew up near Bozeman; I wear my snowboots when the sidewalks etc. aren't shoveled yet or when we're traveling in bad weather. Around town, once things are shoveled out, tennishoes are fine otherwise my feet get too hot. For kids, you absolutely need snow pants, warm layers, plus the winter coats and gloves/mittens/hats. If you're going to do things outside, you should have the same. Gaiters, at least, if you don't get snow pants. Consignment shops can be a good place to get these (it's been awhile since I've shopped Bozeman but there's at least one consignment shop, past Great Harvest approaching Wendy's I believe).
I suspect you'll meet some people organically, simply through using the Co-op and watching for local events that interest you. But CindyCindy's group would also be a good way to meet people. Bozeman is a mixture of 'types,' there are a range of people from very conservative Christian to a much 'crunchier' crowd. It's a really nice town, I loved it when I lived there! So many skiiing/cross country skiing options, hikes/snow-shoeing/rafting, lots to do in town and in nature. If you're living in married student housing, you'll also meet people that way I'm sure.