Monday, May 30, 2011

A Trip to the Butte Hole

Matt and I have a good friend who happens to live in Missoula.  We decided to meet up in Butte, MT for a day of sightseeing and catching up.  After being underwhelmed by their first farmer's market of the year, we decided to take an historic tour.  I think we are were a little skeptic when they were based out of an "antique" shop that sold things like this:

 . . . in addition to a Michelle (from Full House) doll, lots of trolls, Michael Jackson dolls and so much more you really just have to see it yourself.  However, our tour guide was great and the locations we visited were really, really neat.  We started by passing around some ore samples.  Matthew was impressed:

Then we headed outside.  First up we took a look at what was once the tallest skyscraper in America, I think.  There were a lot of qualifying statements in the title but for an early 1900 building in Butte, MT it had steel beam construction and was pretty tall and skinny.  Works for me.

Matthew didn't know what to make of all the looking and talking to start but by the end of the tour he thought he was best buds with the guide.

Under the "skyscraper" was a dual-layer sidewalk system and this barbershop:

And behind the "vault" and then the "coat closet" was this very casual speakeasy stash and escape route:

Next up we headed to the jail under city hall. Matthew thought it was awesome.  It actually was pretty cool . . . until you realized that the jail was not one of the wild west but was still in use up until the 1970s with very few improvements.  Butte was definitely not the place to be arrested, though Evil Knevel made his appearance there quite a few times.

Next up was another, much nicer speakeasy found under a hotel. 

If you ever find yourself in Butte, I think we all would highly recommend the Old Butte Historical Adventures.  We took the underground tour and it was quite impressive.  It's definitely a unique approach to an historic tour unlike any museum or historic home/village I've ever encountered. 

After the tour we took a short break for lunch.  We ate at a neat little restaurant in a refinished bank building where we played a little pass the monkey (who was very, very well behaved on our tour thankfully!)

Then before we could leave Butte, it was time to check out the Berkeley Pit.  Due to the combo of shade in the viewing area and sun on the rocks, my pics are really washed out, but here's an image from space to give you an idea of the size:

And about what it looked like from the viewing station:

We figured one of the largest superfund/toxic sites in the US was the perfect place for some photo ops:

Delerious because we had pushed back his nap a little far, Matthew thought this was the funniest, most awesome place ever:

Matthew then proceeded to crash .5 seconds after we got into the car and onto the interstate.  All in all a great day and the only somewhat decent weather we had during Uncle Matt's visit. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Uncle Matt's Visit

Uncle Matt came out for the long weekend so little Matt decided to take him to one of our favorite spots, the Museum of the Rockies. First he introduced him to Big Mike:

I tried to get little man to show Uncle Matt the Yellowstone room - but he gave the geysers the side eye:

And though he had a lot of fun ummm, "helping" Uncle Matt with his mask (which luckily is very, very soft!)

But mostly he really, really, really wanted to show Uncle Matt the frog exhibit. He checked out the tomato frogs:

And the super creepy Waxy Monkey Frogs:

And this African Bullfrog that is not only giant, but has yet to move in the past month which makes it super easy for little man to spot:

Then he wanted Uncle Matt's help to show him the frogs (hooray for having someone else to lift the not-so-little guy):

All in all another excellent visit and with the help of some Skype excitement that evening, I think we wore both Matts out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fun Toys and Big Brother Practice

Uncle Matt sent little Matt an awesome new toy. Little man could hardly wait to open the box:

At first he wasn't certain what to do:

But then he figured out exactly how to play:

Matthew got this doll from great Grandma Elsie. Since we finally got the baby stuff out we've been "teaching" Matthew some tips on being a big brother. He likes to feed the baby:

And cuddle the baby:

But I'd say he mostly likes to give the baby CPR:

Okay, so I guess technically he's trying to make the baby giggle or cry, but it looks like CPR most of the time :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Maternity "Shoot"

"Shoot" i.e. a synonym for "damn!" may be the best word to describe our photo attempts. I figured since my days are numbered, PLUS I was "dressed up" for work AND Matthew had a new shirt to model from Grandma Sheryl I'd try some DIY photo attempts of me and him and the baby belly with the help of the self-timer. Matthew insisted on helping hit the button for every shot and hilarity ensued, but very few decent pics resulted. Here's the results fit to share:

As Matthew saw me back up against the wall he insisting he stand in the corner. He found the self-timer hilarious and was intent on getting himself "set" for the shot just like mommy instead of standing anywhere near me:

I finally got smart and tackled him!

My helper! (Soon I'll have a whole album of shots like these!)

Matthew gives the baby kisses:

Rushing to check the camera:

Another well tackled snugglebear with no belly in sight!

Standard cheesy maternity pose waiting on Matthew as he insisted on pushing the buttons. (The other 95 shots he took were pretty much close-ups of his own sleeve).

Story break:

My little goober:

And last but not least an attempt at a family shot:

And on an unrelated but amusing note, while I was making dinner and still had the camera handy, Matthew discovered the simple joy of the motorboat.

And some bonus profile shots because I kinda regret the lack of pregnancy photos when I was carrying Matthew and decided to suck it up and take some of my crazy largeness.

And after some very scientific googling on Old Wive's Tales, here's what the conventional wisdom says about the gender of the baby. Hopefully we'll get our real result soon enough:

Carrying High - Girl
Low Heartrate - Boy
Salty cravings - Boy
Cold Feet - Boy (though admittedly it's been winter here my entire pregnancy so I'm not sure this one is fair)
Ring over belly swings in circles - Boy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Matthew and Music

Our Mom's Club hosted a demo session for Music Together this week. Bozeman has Kindermusik, Music Together and Music Lingua classes for kids his age and I've been waffling among the three for a while. He had a ton of fun and I think he's just about to where we could commit to a class. He certainly loves singing and dancing! (And could he be any cuter in the new shirt from grandma Watson!!)

He also loves singing along with me and James to some of his favorite stories. Though I hate the sound of my voice on video (who doesn't!) I've been working to capture Matthew's early reading (and will gratuitously share for grandma and grandpa in the meantime). I'm obviously an unbiased proud momma who thinks her son is a genius, but mostly I still like to go back and read about early language acquisition and pre-reading from my ed school days and find this phase of development absolutely fascinating and am okay using my own son as a guinea pig. Here he is helping me sing "Wheels on the Bus":

And here he is dancing with his belated Easter toy from Grandma and Grandpa Pozun. The boy certainly loves to dance:

I love that he dances like an awkward middle schooler and I hope that never, ever changes. I just know there'll be trouble when he develops the smooth moves of his daddy, I mean, I was apparently a sucker for them :-)

Friday, May 20, 2011


We went out to blow bubbles the other day. Matthew's very serious about blowing bubbles and enjoys his failed attempts at blowing far more than chasing bubbles.

It was still a bit windy, but this boy loves his bubbles.

And he's just so darn cute, how can you say no!

I'll admit that also love these pictures because they came straight out of the camera perfectly cropped without any weird lighting issues and in my opinion he even though he's not smiling, they are some of my favorites. Very rarely am I 3 for 3. Part of my streamlining process has involved a new SD card that can wirelessly upload photos directly to my computer or also the web/blog but that's only useful when my pics don't need a messy house or some other insanity cropped out of the shot or the insane lighting fixed:-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weekend of Wind

Bozeman had winds of 30-60 miles an hour all weekend. The good news was that the winds kept the skies blue and clear. Sadly, this just made every step out the door a lesson in disappointment as it was just miserable to go out. Instead we stayed in, tackled laundry and I tried to find a much better way to streamline my blogging process. As I've tried to keep this a close to zero dollar hobby I've been resistant to put any $ into software or subscriptions other than our domain name. However, all the extra steps I was using to get media off my camera and online were time-consuming, fraught with error and annoying. Since time is something I anticipate having little of once the baby gets here and newborns are far more suited for sharing by blog than Skype, I'm testing out some new methods. Bear with me if I end up sending error posts to your feed reader for a bit.

Aside from our family needing to make multiple trips back to the optometrist all weekend, the other errand we "had" to do was to take a poster back to Dairy Queen for my work (some errands are best left un-delegated.) It just so happened to be $.50 "small" cone day on Saturday so we headed out. Matthew didn't seem to mind joining in one bit:

However, he's still undecided about his feelings of my getting back to taking more pictures

We did go out and brave the wind to check out a new park. It had lots of trees which I thought might help with the wind. I was wrong and though Matthew refused to leave his hood on, he didn't seem to notice the temps. and wind and was pretty content getting out to run and slide:

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...