Posted in Montana Adventures

Fourth of July

Our first of many holidays here in Montana.

For the past few years we’ve spent the Fourth of July with our best friends back home.  By a pool or on the lake, Ben and Jen were guaranteed to be decked out in complete red, white and blue.

This year we both had very different July Fouths.  While we were here celebrating in Montana, Ben kept the tradition of being decked out in red, white and blue while running a 5k and they hung out by a pool…but they were also decorating and cleaning out a baby nursery!!!!  (Just another change back home I am so sad to be missing!)

While they were enjoying their last Independence Day as a family of two, we headed to a small fishing town named Ennis for a Fourth of July parade.

I have always enjoyed parades.  A bucket list item would be to go to NYC to watch the Macy’s Day Parade.  Some years I want to stay in a hotel room over looking the parade.  Other years I want to be right in the hussle and bustle where I can actually hear what is going on.  Maybe one day I’ll have to be forced to make up my mind!

All the parades back home were similar.  You have A LOT of church decorated floats, pickup trucks with their business name on it, tractor trailers advertising their businesses, pageant queens waving from the back of a convertible, fire trucks and a small group of Shriners.  In the small town I was raised you could not even have horses in the parade.  I’m assuming because of horse poop, the horses always came after Santa which just seemed odd. My favorite part of parades, though, have always been the bands and any dance groups.  And there was almost always a high school who would be performing.

So we headed off to Ennis, population of 800 full-time residents, in hopes of seeing a great parade.  And what we got was an enjoyable true small-town America parade.  There was no band or dancers but it had its own unique qualities which made it wonderful.

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But, my favorite part was watching Liam sit and clap as each float/horse/clown/car went by.  Seeing things through the eyes of my two year old just warms my heart.

The parade itself lasted about thirty minutes so then it was off to discover the town…and find some food!  With so many extra people in town it was hard to get in and out of many of the stores but we ended up at a food truck towards to the end of the downtown area and then made our way back up the street.

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Can’t go wrong with food trucks.

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You can’t be a fishing town without a fish sculpture!

We headed out of town to a town I was super excited to see.  After a big day already in the heat the boys were nearing the ‘cranky time of day’.  I’d say nap time but a certain Dietrich boy has decided those are no longer for him.  So we did a quick once-up, once-down of the street (with a stop at an ice cream parlor of course) and headed back to Bozeman for a rest  and dinner/fireworks at a friends house.

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Can’t wait to go back.
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The kid loves to drive.

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Posted in Montana Adventures

Leaving Montana

That’s right.  We left Montana….for the weekend.  We headed south to Wyoming.

Matt, myself and Liam have been blessed with a friendship that I can see having for a long while.

It all began when Nicole did not hire me to be her babysitter.  HA!  But to her defense I wouldn’t have hired me either if I had been in her shoes.  (For the curious, my schedule and her’s were only going to work for a few months and she needed someone more long term).

But it has been a blessing.

We invited them out to dinner once.  And that is not an exaggeration.  We went out to dinner ONCE.  Going out to dinner with two year olds can be eventful.  We’ve pretty much learned that Liam can last an hour TOPS and that is only with extensive entertainment.  I’m talking books, toy cars, crayons, a few blocks, stacking the sugar packets, knocking down the sugar packets, I Spy, practicing his letters, counting, going to the bathroom, looking through the menu and when all else has failed pulling out games on a phone.  So basically the adults have no time for an actual conversation.

Joe mentioned how good it was to have friends with a kid (child I mean.  My mom likes to remind me that kids are baby goats!!) the same age who isn’t “perfect”.  And it is nice.  It’s nice to sit with a couple who’s right in the middle of raising a child that we are.  It’s nice when people say “we’ve been there” but that really doesn’t make you feel better.  And I love our friends with no children but I can’t help but feel embarrassed or irritated when Liam acts up as they are probably thinking (as I did) “our children won’t act like that”.

So Liam and Landon are learning sharing and not hitting amongst each other.  One day they’ll graduate from that (hopefully!) and it’ll be on to the next thing…

So Joe and Nicole invited us to a family cabin in Wyoming.  The ride there proved to be very eventful and once again we got to see a part of the US landscape that we haven’t seen before.

To get to the cabin we had to go over the Beartooth Mountains.  At the highest we were almost 11,000 feet.  The drive up was reminiscent of our trip up Pikes Peak in Colorado or the Pacific Highway in California.  Matt does not love heights and so it made the trip up even more eventful as we reminisced on the drives before.

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It was a fun, relaxing weekend.  The guys fished a few different spots.  When they came back – early! – on Saturday they said they had each caught close to 30 fish!  I’ve never found the excitement in fishing but I can imagine catching fish over and over again is both exciting and repetitive.  But they sure fished at a very picturesque lake!

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I like to think he posed for this picture for the sole reason that I could put it on the blog! 🙂

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Just gorgeous.
Meanwhile, the ladies took the kids down to a river and let them play around.  The river itself was raging (no lie) but there was a perfect little creek for them to play in.

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Yes, of course Tippet came too 🙂
And on the way to another lake one evening we came across a sight I have never seen and will probably never see again.  Two grizzly bear cubs!

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Just another weekend.  Just another fun adventure.  What will tomorrow bring?!

Posted in Montana Adventures

Eating in the Streets

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve written.  And I can make every excuse but it all boils down to having a toddler and friends.  And both are blessings so I can not complain.

So back to something I had started a while back and maybe I can get everyone caught up on some of the things we have been up to!

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Free hugs!  Leg hair inches long.  Dread locks.  Spiderman unitard.

It is not just small town North Carolina festivals that bring out the unique people of a community.  Any street festival can and Bozeman showed no difference yesterday (okay okay, many yesterdays ago) evening!

Every Thursday evening during the summer a part of Main Street shuts down for an event called Music on Main.  It becomes open to food truck vendors and a local band.  So Matt, Liam and I made a trip to see what it was all about.

Call me small town but food trucks have always been something only TV.  You know, like Food Truck Face Off on Food Network?  But food trucks seem pretty popular around here so it was fun to see a lot of them all in one place with so many different types of food to choose from.

And can you really go wrong with a food truck that ONLY sells Mac and Cheese?

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Liam didn’t want to walk for the longest time. He just sat and took in the sights.
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The line for the food truck I ate at!
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Like I said, there is no bad way to make Mac and Cheese!
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My Fajita Mac and Cheese and, yes, that is fried mac and cheese balls with ranch dressing.
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Where Matt ate.
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Watching the band play. Liam is strongly against getting on Matt’s shoulders.

As I look back at these pictures, I have a strong feeling that the dryer is NOT shrinking my pants.  But to be a local I must eat like a local, right?

I’ve heard that they do the same thing on Wednesdays for lunch at a park.  Food trucks and picnics and plenty of children running around.  I’m going to check that out tomorrow…!

Posted in Montana Adventures, restaurants, Toddler Life

Ducks and Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme or Duncan Donuts.  That is a big debate in the South.  Along with Coke vs Pepsi, Duke vs Carolina, Heinz vs Hunts, eastern BBQ vs western BBQ.  Do Southerns get along about anything?  It can be an all out brawl sometimes!  I absolutely hate my Facebook newsfeed anytime there is a Duke vs Carolina basketball game!  Everyone has an opinion.  And I mean everyone.  Even if they don’t have an opinion, they post about how they don’t have an opinion and how stupid other peoples’ opinions are!

And just to get my two cents in about the doughnut debate.  There should NEVER be a debate.  Krispy Kreme makes there’s fresh and Duncan Donuts are frozen and baked there.  Now, you can debate the coffee all you want to…

But the only debate I have come upon in Bozeman is how the word “creek” is pronounced.  Some say creek with the same long e as in street while others give it an i sound like trick.  The second grade phonics teacher in me will tell you that the double e gives you the long e sound but nobody wants a smarty pants.  And I’m not one to talk.  In the south, there are plenty of short e words that become i’s.  There is a big difference in how you pronounce a pen you write with and a pen a pig sleeps in.   I’m not about to change my ways because it’s not phonically correct!

But back to doughnuts.  Bozeman has no such debate.  There is only ONE doughnut shop in town: Granny’s Gourmet Donuts.  You just can’t count the grocery stores that sell doughnuts although Liam and I would agree that the chocolate covered sprinkled doughnuts from Albersons are very good!

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So some friends and I made a morning of it and decided to take the kids to get a nutritious breakfast (ha!) and then go feed the ducks at the pond at Montana State.  (Stay at home moms are great at creating fun, FREE activities!)

It was the tiniest little shop but that just meant the boys couldn’t run around everywhere.  The workers let the boys sprinkle their own doughnut but for some reason Liam was very unsure about this.  He just kept staring at the doughnut in the bowl not quite sure how he was expected to get it out.  The other little boy dug right in and was ready to eat it before he even got off the chair!  Back at the table, Liam decided the only good part of the doughnut was the icing and while I agree partly with the deliciousness of icing he was missing out on a great tasting doughnut.

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Watching them frost his doughnut.
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He finally decided to reach in for it.
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“All mine?!”

The special doughnut of the day was a Mojito doughnut.  Creative yet an interesting flavor choice.  One of the girls I was with got it and said it was good.  Then again, I don’t like mojitos in liquid form much less in a pastry.

Funnily enough, the shop gives kids free ‘duck bread’ to feed to the ducks at the pond.  So, each boy, complete with their white bag of dough for the ducks, headed out the door running, walking and excited to see the ducks.  The man in the shop warned us that the ducks may flock to whoever had the white bags…but he underestimated the energy of our boys!

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They fed the ducks plenty of food and ran around and around the pond chasing a lot of the poor ducks.  Many of the ducks were smart enough to head to the water and stay there until the two wild and crazy humans left!

Rumor has it that there could be another doughnut place in the works for this town.  But, it’s safe to say we’ll have a repeat of this play date sometime this summer.  Poor ducks!

Posted in Montana Adventures

Carribean, Montana

 

Clear, blue waters.  White, sandy beaches.  Lots of warm sunshine.  And preferably wearing a bathing suit.  That is my definition of paradise.

Who knew that you could find the clear, blue waters in the middle of nowhere Montana?!

Now that winter is over, we have found that camping is the activity of almost all weekends.  Unfortunately, we do not have a camper or a tent.  So we have resorted to ‘day camping’ with friends.

When Matt told me where we were going I kept thinking he was saying Cliff N’ Wade Lake.  What an interesting name for a lake I had thought.  But apparently it’s TWO lakes side by side.  Cliff AND Wade Lakes.

The weather was supposed to be on the warmer side I had thought so I dressed Liam and I in pants and short sleeves and jackets.  And I brought us each a pair of shorts for when it got warm.  MISTAKE.`v    ZXDBHBVVNBB I feel confident it got increasingly cooler the longer we were there.  The scattered rain showers that kept coming through helped with this.

 

The waters really were such a crystal blue.  We could see probably twenty feet down – if not further.  We took Matt’s boat out, paddled around and he fished for a while.  Somehow (miracles do happen) Liam ended up falling asleep in my lap for over an hour. He was out.  Even when the rain started up and I covered him with my raincoat he just kept right on snoozing.

 

Posted in Montana Adventures, Toddler Life

Off to the Water Park!

Snow.  Fields.  Cows.  More snow.  More fields.  That is the vision I believe almost all of my friends in North Carolina had when I told them we were moving to Montana.  I think most everyone had visions of me being surrounded by acres and acres of land (with snow) with no signs of city life around.  And they are partially correct.

Bozeman, where I am living in Montana, is surrounded by just that exact picture.  But Bozeman itself is NOT that.

Now, I was living in a town with a population of just under 8,000 people.  And Bozeman has a population of just under 42,000.  So in terms of all my local shopping and culture, I’m now in the ‘big city’!  I mean, Target is now only 10 minutes away not 45 minutes.  That right there was a pro on the Bozeman Moving Pro/Con list just a few months ago.

The biggest difference is that in North Carolina, I had many cities within an hours driving distance…and those cities were truly ‘big cities’.  You know, the kind with skyscrapers or even buildings with more than five stories?  I asked Matt just yesterday if there were any skyscrapers in Montana and he just laughed.  I took that as a no.  Here in Bozeman, the nearest city is at least two hours away (with Bozeman being the fourth biggest of the state).

To help put it into perspective a little better, imagine the city you live in with absolutely no suburbs around it.  It’s as if you can draw a line around the city and color it in.  Anything not colored in is the gorgeous, spacious Gallatin Valley and beyond…for about two hours all around….with the occasional small, small town sprinkled throughout.

I am learning that things in Montana are not quite the same as the more metropolitan areas I am used to.  I was researching zoos here in Montana and found one in Billings.  I plan on taking Liam sometime but I’m glad I checked the website first before I got there and was majorly confused before becoming disappointed.  There are no elephants or giraffes or chimpanzees like I normally think of at a zoo.  But Liam will be just as happy seeing the tigers, wolves, owls, and beavers…so I see a trip there in our future this summer.

Matt and I have laughed several times about my reaction when we went to the Grizzly Encounter a few weeks ago.  My (unrealistic) expectations of a drive-through grizzly bear experience seems ridiculous now but that is just a perfect example of my way off expectations that I’m learning to turn down.

On Saturday, Matt, Liam and I went to “Montana’s Biggest Indoor Water Park”.  Now, I would place money that it is probably the only indoor water park in Montana but I could be wrong.  It has an attached “resort” so I had visions of Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC.  We drove two hours to the ‘nearby city’ of Billings.  Gorgeous views along the way but nothing in between.  I have to assume there was at least one gas station along the way but I didn’t see it if there was.  Matt had looked at booking a room for the night but they were full.  It’s a good thing, though, as Liam was finished playing in about three hours.

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But it was great family outing.  Liam loved playing ‘baketball’ in one of the pools (his deletion of the /s/ sounds is still so precious these days).  He’s getting better at swimming with his float and so he loved swimming back and forth between Matt and me.  There was a big toddler area with some water slides and squirt guns and such but he was very apprehensive about all the water falling from above.  The one time that the large bucket at the top of the play area filled up and dumped all the water down, Liam grabbed onto my neck and wouldn’t let me put him down for a few minutes.  He enjoyed the water slides some but not near as much as I thought he would.  The boy LOVES slides but with all the newness he was a bit skeptical of them at first.  He wanted me to go down with him so I broke the age/weight rule and headed down with him several times.  Not that any of the teenage lifeguards cared.

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I don’t know if I’m truly getting old or if my ability to judge age is off, but no one working there (from the front counter to the life guards to the concession workers) could have been over the age of 22.  As I waited for close to twenty minutes for our nutritious lunch of hot dogs and chicken fingers, I calculated that the workers had to have been born somewhere around 2000.  Not even in the twentieth century!

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Liam’s favorite part of the water park was the wave pool.  He had a blast just floating up and down as the waves came by.  I have a feeling, though, that he will not have the same feeling when we’re at my parent’s place in Myrtle Beach in two weeks but maybe he’ll prove me wrong!

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And the best part of the water park?  This momma got to go down a ‘big person’ slide a few times and didn’t have to wait in line for 45 minutes to do so.  They had two three-story water slides and I felt like a kid again going down them.  I was shrieking and laughing out loud as I went through the dark tunnel on the tube having no idea which way the slide was going.  And, my smile got even bigger when I got down to the bottom and saw Matt and Liam waiting for me and I listened to Liam talking all about how Mommy was coming out of the purple slide so fast.

Montana may have twice as many cows as people and it might have a tenth of the population of North Carolina but the four of us (yes, I am including Tippet) are enjoying all of the adventures no matter how big or how small.

 

 

 

Posted in Montana Adventures, Toddler Life

How to Take a Toddler On a Drift Boat

The boat rocked gently back and forth.  I looked up from the book I’d been reading for the past fifteen minutes or so and saw Liam sitting quietly in his seat gazing up as Matt cast his rod out over the water.  Liam seemed to be taking in Matt’s every move as if to memorize just what to do for when he was older.  From the corner of my eye I saw Tippet sit up straight and gaze out over the water.  I reached down to pet her as she laid down for me to rub her belly.

OK, so that’s not exactly how our first trip on the boat went.

After floating down the Madison River for about four hours, here’s my take on taking a toddler out on a drift boat.

  1. Take rocks.  While throwing rocks in the river is not exactly ideal for catching fish, it is the number one thing that kept Liam most entertained.  Thank goodness we knew this ahead of time as he throws rocks into any body of water he can find.  He’d throw them into the bathtub if they were accessible to him.  At the beginning of the float he was spotting every rock imaginable: on the banks, across the way, in the water.  Matt had grabbed a grocery bag on our way out of the house and filled it full of gravel rocks.  So we had plenty of rocks to last us the four hours.  Although, let’s be real.  I pretended numerous times that “Oh no!  No more rocks! Let’s _____.”  He never quite caught on to the magic bag of rocks that appeared every time he wanted to throw them again.
  2. Start a family choir.  That’s right.  At one point we were floating down the river singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” under the leadership of Liam who would dictate “No Mommy.  Just Daddy.” or “Mommy, Daddy, Liam sing!” or “Louder!  No, louder!”  And, ladies, there is nothing better than watching your husband singing loudly on the open water with your son (though, let’s be real, he probably looked to see that no one was close by…at least I did!)
  3. Point. At. EVERYTHING.  At the birds, planes, rocks, boats, people, animals, motorcycles, trucks, cars, fisherman, trees, bugs.  You name it and we pointed at it.
  4. Count, count and count some more.  If you point at it you might as well count them too.  We counted rocks.  We counted birds.  We counted boats…and people in boats…and dogs in boats…and kids in boats…and people wearing hats on boats.  We counted the Goldfish that dropped onto the floor of the boat.  Liam can count upwards of 15 and he finds no boredom in practicing his numbers over and over.
  5. Let ’em row.  While we didn’t get far or fast with him as captain he had great joy in rowing the boat.  And it was NOT okay if Matt was helping.  “Myself!” is what he’d yell.
  6. Lunch…I mean Goldfish. And pretzels.  And Cherrios.  And fruit packs.  And Pringles.  And Capri Suns.  And milk.  Yes, I packed us some sandwiches and pasta salad but he had no interest in those.  He just wanted to graze all of the other snack foods we had on board.
  7. Become a naturalist.  Liam and I would point at birds and trees and flowers.  “Black bird!” Liam would say.  “Yes, that black bird has red on it’s belly,” I’d say.  And Matt’s response was, “It’s a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.” I’m amazed at all the names of birds, trees and fish Matt knows.  But, maybe one day Liam will acquire that knowledge as well because I simply know simple bird names like:  duck, goose, flamingo, woodpecker–and I only know its a woodpecker if it’s pecking on a tree!
  8. Catch a fish.  While I know our float down the river did not provide Matt with the ample fishing time it normally would have, he was able to catch one fish and Liam was so excited.  He kept telling Matt, “‘Nother fish.” as if he could snap his fingers and make another appear. But the entertainment lasted until the fish was back in the water – much to Liam’s disappointment.
  9. Throw potty training out the window.  Trying to get your two year old to pee off a boat while it’s rocking, the dog won’t sit down and there are a million things to look at is virtually impossible.  And the same goes for on the side of the road as ants are crawling up your leg.  Just give it a rest for the day.

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The float trip was not exactly like the last time Matt and I went where he fished and I sunbathed while reading a book….but it was a wonderful time in a whole new way (just as everything with a toddler is)!

Posted in Montana Adventures

A Hike is Just a Long Walk

Hiking is something I’ve always enjoyed.  Now, I’m not talking backpacking or anything like that.  But just a few hour hike preferably that ends in a gorgeous view.  And while I enjoy an easy, casual hike the best hike I can remember was with my brother one Spring Break in Arizona.

We both were at college at App and our dad had been working in Arizona for a while.  Dad got us both tickets to spend the week with him.  So during the day, Christopher and I did everything from visiting some museums to hunting ghost towns.  We decided to go hiking one day and somehow came upon Camelback Mountain.  I guess the word ‘mountain’ should have clued us in to the strenuousness of the hike.  But we set out with one water bottle apiece and headed to the trail head.  Over a mile later and with a change in elevation of 1,300 feet later we had made it.  The accomplishment we felt was wonderful but what we would have given for some more water!

Most of the hikes that I did in college thorough the Appalachian Mountains were along the Blue Ridge Parkway and none were near as strenuous as Camelback (though I know those trails are out there).  And most of thoese hikes were to either the gorgeous view of the Smoky Mountain Range or to amazing, picturesque waterfalls.

I’ve done two hikes here in Montana so far and they’ve both been great.

A few weeks ago, we joined some friends at their campsite for the afternoon.  Just as soon as we pulled in, a group was heading off for a hike.  Liam and Matt stayed behind and I headed with the hiking group.

There was no trail.  There was simply a destination we wanted to get to and our figuing out how to get there.

Just today in the grocery store, I was talking to an older lady who’s sisters live in Hendersonville and Raliegh.  She was talking about how beautiful North Carolina was but her one complaint was about all the trees!  She said she felt so claustophobic with all the trees everywhere.  It cracked me up inside thinking, ‘The Rocky Mountains have trees’, but then I realized there is definetly a difference.  Especially if you are not high up in the moutains here.

But the hike was enjoyable.  It definelty got my heart going and there were plenty of things to see along the way.  I can’t say I’ve even seen a deer carcus…much less three.  And I learned that Montana has cactus.  But they are sneaky cactus not rising more than an inch or so off the ground.

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Last weekend (the precurser to Liam getting sick), we went to Buffalo Jump State Park.  The name itself was intiquing to me.  Native Americans used to drive the buffalo through the fields and off the cliff in a massive slaughter.  I had hoped that Liam would nap on our drive out there but no such luck–the hike certainly would have been much more enjoyable.

 

Liam and I had plans to go on another hike today with a group but Sweet Boy is still asleep.  And it’s never a good idea to wake a sleeping baby (well, boy), right?

 

So tell me, what’s YOUR favorite hike?

Posted in Montana Adventures

Another Walking Adventure

As I sit here writing this, it is snowing outside.  Nothing that will stick but some big flakes none the less.  Oh Montana spring.  How confusing you are.

The Montana Dietrich clan had some good adventures this weekend.  Possibly too much as a certain little Dietrich has ended up with a bad cold and a case of pink eye.  There is nothing sadder than listening to your toddler screaming from the back seat “Sleeeeeeeep!  Baby bedddddddd!”  (yes, his room currently has a full size guest bed, toddler bed and Pack N Play – aka ‘baby bed’) uncontrollably and there is nothing you can do but keep on driving.  And there is nothing sweeter than hearing your husband say he would give anything to trade places with the littlest one.

Matt worked on Saturday morning and then went fishing with some friends on the Madison River.

Liam and I took advantage of no car and gorgeous (yes, 50s are gorgeous) weather.    The morning was a slow start which is NEVER good with a two year old.  There was no peace getting ready and I finally had the ‘just do whatever and I’ll clean it later’ attitude.

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But, finally, off we went.

It was a mile back to the Museum of the Rockies that we went to a few weeks back and then another 1.2 miles to downtown.  I’ve drove the road many times but you see things so differently when you look slowly.  Isn’t that so true with life?  Walking down the residential road that led to downtown there was so much to see.  Liam pointed out every flower, pine cone and bird he saw.  I listened to his sweet voice sing songs he knew.  And when I tried to join in he said, “No, Mommy.  Liam sing.” (I guess I really only do get to sing alone in the car!)

I noticed all the different types of homes.  Homes that resembled the Brady Bunch house and homes from the early 1900s that had earned recognition from the Historical Society.  Even a sorority (or fraternity) house.  And a mailman delivering mail on foot.  Who knew mailmen even did that anymore?  Then again I didn’t realize people still had their mail delivered straight to their doors either.

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We made it the 2.2 miles downtown.  Our first stop was none other than a chocolate shop, The Chocolate Moose.  It is Bozeman’s very own Mast General Store except minus the clothes and with a small ice cream parlor!  Liam and I had a very nice date and it only cost me $1.95!

Then we headed over to the Country Bookshelf.  The teacher in me was in heaven.  There was such an assortment of children’s books.  A perfect mix of the classics like The Little Engine that Could to the popular new books like Llama Llama.  And they had most of the picture books arranged  so you can actually see the covers.  It is so hard to search for new books when they are all squished on the shelf side by side.

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Across the street from the bookshop is an old theatre, the Ellen Theatre.  It is your classic American downtown theatre.  You know, with balconies and gorgeous velvety red curtains?  You walk in and you feel like you have been transported back in time.   The marquee said that they were having a free showing of Aladdin.  First, FREE.  Need I say more?  Secondly, Aladdin?!  I loved that movie as a kid and haven’t seen it in ages.

Having no time frame that we needed to be home, Liam and I headed across the street.  Liam has only ever been to the theatre once and he barely lasted 30 minutes.  It was to see Trolls and even those 30 minutes were too much for me.  I was thankful when he had had enough.  (Yes, I know many of you thought Trolls was precious but I pray I will not have to be subjected to more movies like that as Liam gets older.  All the songs and sparkle and pooping out of cupcakes–that’s right–was enough for me).

But he lasted for every minute of Aladdin.  And when Jasmine and Aladdin are flying off on the magic carpet singing “A Whole New World” I couldn’t help but sing.  How is it that after 20 years I still knew almost every word?  I waited for Liam to ask me to be quiet but much to my delight when I did stop he looked at me and said “Sing Mommy.”

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On our 2.2 mile walk back home we stopped and got a pizza.  I fully planned on actually taking it back to the house but Liam can NOT get in his stroller without wanting–no, needing–to go to the ‘park’ near our house.  I exagerate when I say park because it’s really just a jungle gym you can buy at Home Depot for your backyard.  It has two swings and a platform with a slide.  But it is public and Liam loves it.

So we got the pizza to go, came home and got Tippet and some drinks and headed off to picnic at the park.

I may not be going to the gym but between my hot yoga and all of this walking, I am getting some exercise!

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Sunday we all went hiking to a pretty historical place (and I’d say that probably added to the sickness brewing inside of Liam)..but that story is for another day.

Posted in Montana Adventures, restaurants, Toddler Life

I’m not the only one who likes FREE, right?

FREE: adv. without cost or payment

There is no better sale than FREE.  Everyone loves a BOGO sale.  Who can resist getting something for nothing?!

I’m the worst for going into a grocery story, seeing a BOGO sale and buying two even if I only needed one (or sometimes none!).  What’s an extra 60 oz box of goldfish?  I have no room in my pantry but they were giving it away so I must take it.

This week in Bozeman is “Week of the Child”.  I honestly am not really sure if it is promoting anything in particular but I know that there is something every day of this week that is free for Liam.

Yesterday, we went to a music class at the library.  I fully expected for it to be crowded.  After all, it was advertised for everyone in Bozeman.  And Bozeman is FILLED with moms and young kids.  In total I think there were seven parents that showed up with their child/children.  I was shocked.  Out of the entire city of Bozeman only seven parents took advantage of this free opportunity?  Now, I am new to town so this could have been an opportunity that is offered a lot so maybe it wasn’t as enticing to other parents as it was to me.  But Liam thoroughly enjoyed banging on tamborines, playing with the drum sticks and watching the other kids.  The dancing, though, he wasn’t to fond of.  🙂

Today’s ‘free activity’ was a free burrito–with the purchase of an adult item of course–at a restaurant called Taco de Sol downtown.  Again, free lunch for the kids?  I assumed the place would be filled with moms and children.  I knew nothing about the restaurant but had seen it driving down Main Street.  And I’ve been wanting to try a lot of the restaurants on Main Street so this was the perfect excuse.

We walked in the doors at 11:45 and saw only two other group of patrons.  I checked out the menu which was pretty simple (tacos, burritos, taco salads) and then ordered.  The guy behind the counter didn’t mention anything about a free burrito so I immediately wondered if I’d gotten my dates mixed up.  When I asked he replied, “Is today the 25th?”  “Yes.  Am I the first one to come in and ask about this deal?” was my shocked response.  Apparently I was!

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Again, it could be the newbie in me.  Maybe the restaurant doesn’t have good reviews around town.  Maybe people do not like burritos in Bozeman.  Maybe people do not like free as much as I do around here.  But, whatever it is, Liam and I were able to enjoy a nice lunch together.  Was it the most amazing taco I’ve ever had?  No.  Was it horrible?  Not at all.  But Liam and I had a wonderful lunch for $3.25 and I found another restaurant that caters to the kiddos.  They had a little children’s area with a table and toys that kept him entertained after he finished eating.

And I was able to check another Bozeman restaurant off my list!