Saturday, September 25, 2010

Adventures in Puppy Rearing

We have recently been blessed with three little wiggly bundles of joy. Our girl Cinny had puppies last week on my husbands birthday, while we were away on our trip to Wildwood, NJ. We received a call from my Aunt who was watching her for us, on the day before we were to return home, to tell us she came home from work and there they were.

We knew that she was expecting, but not before all of our vacation plans had already been paid for. So we had to leave her with family, which I was so worried about because we did not know her due date, but Cinny did so well under the circumstances. Thankfully this was not her first litter, so she knew what to do. Her first litter was about this time last year. I enjoyed watching the puppies be born. I had read up on how to help her during the delivery. I was felt a little sad that I could not be there with her to help her with this litter, but she handled it like a pro, I'm so proud of her.

 In our last litter we had 3 boys and named them Blondie, Brownie and Blackie, because of their colors. This time we have 2 boys and I am excited to say a girl. They all look so similar that we are having trouble picking out names for them this time.

They are currently 10 days old today, they have been able to move around by crawling since the day they were born. They cannot see or hear yet, both their eyes and ears are sealed closed. They should begin to start seeing any time now, that typically starts to happen about 10 days in, through I think it took a full 2 weeks our last litter. Their eyes begin to open a little at a time and they do look a little blue when you first see them. Their hearing will soon follow after they are able to see. Right now they make all kids of cute little squeaks and yips.

 Two of the puppies are like twins, they are both a light brown color like their mom. One of them is a boy and the other the girl, other than that you really can only tell them apart by their size. The boy is the largest in the litter and the girl the smallest. The other boy is a beautiful white color with cream highlights. This is him yawing. He is so cute. His coloring reminds me of an Apache painted horse, so I was thinking of calling him Apache, but I just though of it this morning, so it's still up in the air.
Here he is cuddled next to his bother, you can see the color difference. All the puppies have a white blaze on their foreheads, some thing their parents do not have, I thought that was interesting.

This one is the little girl, the name Nala, comes to mind when I see her, but I don't think I want to call her that. She looks just like her big brother. She is the smallest of the 3, but we are weighing them all regularly and she is gaining weight.

I would love to get some feedback from our readers on possible name choices. If I get enough names maybe I'll do a poll and put it to a vote. I intend to post more photos of them as they grow.

Thank you for stopping by to read our blogs and as always we love to get comments and feedback from our readers.


Monday, September 20, 2010

ARRR! Shamble Ramble Shows It's Pirattitude At Market

Ahoy there me hearties! Thanks for putten inter port here at Shamble Ramble. If ye be worth yer salt then ye knows that yesterday be Talk Like A Pirate Day, ARRR!, but alas, all good things must meet their end, this holds especially true in the life of a Pirate. So all be it gone, we be wanten ter shair with ye how we celebrated talk like a Pirate Day.

For us Talk Like A Pirate Day was on a Sunday, which for us is market day. We set up at a local flea market every Sunday if we can. We decided to do some thing a little fun, so we decorated our booth with a pirate theme and held a giveaway.

I've got two boys who just love all things Pirate, so we have allot of pirate themed items around the house. For Tyler's birthday last year we we had a Pirate theme party so I had allot of Pirate decorations. We borrowed a really neat looking pirates chest from Korbin that he bargained for during a community yard sale. We filled it will pirate doubloons, gems, strings of pearls and Mardi Gras beads, a skull, some bones, a pirate flask, and a treasure map. We got allot of lookers stop at our booth from this alone. Being that we were set up at a flea market we included a sign that said our chest and booty was not for sale... sorry I just couldn't resist a pirate pun.  We decorated our tent with pirate pen-nits, pirate flags and large treasure maps, and signs that invited every one to come by and celebrate talk like a pirate day with us.

For our give away we offered three of our pirate themed necklaces. One we like to call captain jack, a pair of wire and seed bead wrapped antique pirate keys and a seed beaded skull and crossbones cameo necklace. It was free to enter our giveaway, we had the participants fill out a slip with their name and a phone number or email so we could contact them later and get a mailing address. The names were drawn after we left market for the day and we called the 3 winners later that day.

We also sold some pirate related items at our booth, left over party decorations. I put together some goodie bags of pirate toys and swords for the kids and sold these at $3 a peace. We also had 3 different styles of pirate bandannas for $1 ea. and make your own treasure maps, the buyer got a large sheet of pirate themed stickers and a blank pirate map to put them on. These were a big hit at our son's birthday party with the kids.

We all dressed up in costume too, this is Stacey in her wench costume showing off her pirattitude. She turned allot of heads walking around the market.

Even my kids participated. We helped Tyler the night before cut up an old black T-shirt for his costume, which he paired with some stripped paints he had from a previous years Halloween costume.

We were so happy with how this all turned out, the day was allot of fun for our whole family and for every one at the market who participated in our drawing. We met some old friends who also love Pirates and Renaissance, and some new friends who share the same interests with us in jewelry making and crafts. That is probably for me one of the best things about setting up at market every Sunday. Were getting to know other vendors on a regular basis, as well as the market crowd and making new acquaintances every time we go.

It's also a great experience for the kids when they come, we don't bring them every time, but it's a great activity for them when they do. They get some fresh air on beautiful days, they get to walk around the grove with us as we take turns away from the booth and learn how to bargain hunt and make a deal when they spend their money there. Korbin loves antiques, I often have to bite my tongue when he wants to buy some one's old mug or glass or some other thing, I feel we don't need, but he sees value in it. He says he wants to be one of those people on antique rode show or antique hunters when he grows up. They also get a little bit of business experience as they help us out around the booth, setting up or taking down the tent, helping us through out the day, learning to give change to customers and picking up trash when we are finished for the day. I'm glad I have the opportunity to share this with my family and for them to be apart of my passion for crafting.

Thanks for reading, and please tell us how you celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day this year or any other year!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Talk The Talk And Walk The Walk- In Honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arr me hearties, in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sunday September 19th, I've pillaged and plundered Etsy to bring back this here collection of pirate booty to inspire all you sea dogs and landlubbers alike. So if ye not be faint of heart and be up fer some adventure on the high seas then grab yer cutlasses and follow me on a treasure hunt!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wildwood, NJ and Stone Harbor NJ- Our Last Day

Today was our last day here in the Wildwood area, and I think it turned out to be my favorite of our days here. As some of you may already know, I home school one of my children and so I wanted to do something fun and educational on this trip with them. We learned of the Wetlands Institute before we left located in Stone Harbor, NJ just a short 20 min. drive away. They teach wildlife conservation and have this great animals of the wetlands educational program there.
One of the fun things they have for kids is a turtle room that gives lots of fun facts about the Terrapin Turtles found on the island. They deliver the information in a fun and hands on way.
They also had a small aquarium filled with some of the smaller ocean creatures you might see around the island. The boys really enjoyed the little octopus they had there and the touch tank which contained hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, star fish, sea urchins, spider crabs and a flounder.
After the aquarium we took a self guided tour of the salt marsh outside the Institute. Throughout the year the tour is guided by a Dosen, an expert in the marshes, but we arrived one week to late for their last guided tour. We were however given a very detailed booklet with map and lots of helpful information to walk along the trail. Outside there were two paths you could choose to take, one was a straight dry trail, that was covered with a layer of crushed sea shells.
Or for a more submerged experience, step off the beaten path and walk a trail covered with bent reads at the waters edge. Be warned this route is muddy, but as long as you carefully plan each step, I was able to navigate with out much damage to my new sneakers. Luckily the high and dry road is just a step or two to your left so you can jump back on it at any time.
At the end of the tour we found a boardwalk that extended out over the marsh and gave you an opportunity to see dozens of small fiddler crabs.
At the very end of the trail the kids stopped to dip their feet in the cool marsh.
On the way out we stopped to enjoy their butterfly gardens.
I am so glad that we went the the Wetlands Institute, not just because it was a fun day trip, but because if we hadn't we would never have discovered Stone Harbor. I have to say I have just fallen in love with this island. Stone Harbor is just the next island over you can get to it by getting onto New Jersey Ave. towards North Wildwood. And then following the signs to Stone Harbor, there is a small toll of $1.50 one way to use one of the 2 bridges you will cross to island hop from North Wildwood to Stone Harbor.
I've discovered I love this island better than Wildwood and when we come back again, I'm going to try and stay here. They have their own beach that stretches the island, which I believe is about 7 miles long from Stone Harbor to Avalon. It is nice little beach that has a very exclusive feel to it, it was not crowded at all.
The island is filled with these beautiful homes, all ranging from charming cottages to large grand beach houses. They are all beautiful and make you feel like your on Martha's Vineyard or some other exclusive island. We picked up a few real estate magazines at a Wawa and discovered that probably all of the ones we liked the best were at least $1M., but fortunately a great deal of them are rented out so you don't have to be a millionaire to live like one for a week.
At the center of Stone Harbor is their shopping district. The streets are lined with all kinds of shops, and the best part is their not all those high end over priced designer shops either. As a matter of fact all the shops I noticed I had never heard of before, they were all new to me and that made them all the better. It made the whole place feel like a small intimate town. While walking around the square I counted 3 ice cream parlors, four Christmas shops, two of which also had handmade or vintage looking Halloween items. There were 3 miniature golf courses on the roof tops of some of the other shops.

They had small coffee shops, bookstore, a 5 & 10cent toy store, which I don't know why they call it that, there weren't any 5 or 10 cent items in there, let alone toys, it was actually filled with an assortment of home decor and other wonderful beachy items as well. There were lots of unique boutiques and jewelry stores, even a cute little pet shop filled with wonderful little things you could buy for your pet.

I can't even cover all the types of little shops they had, I am so impressed with this place it's very family friendly. They were even starting to decorate things for fall, the street lamps had corn husks and hay bails around them. Little mums and pumpkins lined the streets. Due to the amount of holiday themed stores, I imagine their over compensating for it, because it must be kind of hard to experience all the things you associate with fall, thanksgiving, or Christmas on an island. I live in PA so fall for us is all about, visiting an orchard, picking fresh apples and pumpkins to bake into apple and pumpkin pies, choosing a carving pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, hay rides and corn maizes. I imagine living in a coastal region makes allot of these things impossible to come by, it's just not the same feeling. But when it comes to summer living here I bet you just can't beat it. 

We drove the length of the island after visiting the beach up to Avalon were we found our hands down favorite, and the largest of all the homes we saw, this beauty. I imagine this is way above $1M. This one was so beautiful, it reminds me of a castle. Ah, from now on when ever I picture my dream home, it will look just like this.
After our champagne wishes and caviar dreams, we found a great pirate themed miniature golf place in Avalon and had to stop. My kids love pirates and so do I, we had been looking for a good miniature golf spot all week. One that didn't look like it was just slapped up for the tourists. This was very nice, they really put allot of detail into the course, and they played great caribbean themed music, I felt like I was in Florida. This course was so much fun, they used every bit of space on the lot they had. 

Several of the courses were inside a grotto, where there was a pirate skeleton locked behind bars guarding his treasure.

Korbin really enjoyed all the water around the courses. He loves getting wet.

The courses then continue up on top of the caves for a really nice view.
We made our way across a rickety pirate bridge..

And down to the sunken pirate ship that was the last course.
We even got a chance to try and win a free game for next time. My husband won the free game, which we will be saving till we come back next time. Today, by the way, was my husband's birthday, so I guess it was birthday luck.

We snapped some sunset pictures of the wetlands, as we island hopped back to our condo in Wildwood. This place is so beautiful I can't wait to come back.

Thanks for stopping by. Nicole

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wildwood, NJ Days 3 &4 - Beach Daze

Wow, I am beached out already. We've spent the past 2 days on the beach and boardwalk or in the pool. The weather has been perfect over the past 2 days, in the 80's with this wonderfully cool ocean breeze so you never get hot. I could spend all day here just sitting watching the waves and enjoying that breeze.

Yesterday we enjoyed the beach right in front of the condo we are staying in on Magnolia Ave. We're only a block and a half from the boardwalk which is great, you can walk out the front door and be there in about 60 seconds. The drawback is that the beach is so far away from the boardwalk here. It's like crossing a dessert to reach it, our first day out it felt like a mirage, you could see it in the distance, but it felt like no matter how far you walked you were never going to reach it.
So today we tried driving further down the island past where the boardwalk ends and all the hotels are beach front. We parked on Rambler Rd. around the 7100 block where it was a much shorter walk to the water, plus there was a nice wooden walkway that stretched more than halfway down.
There we found a large warm tidal pool, with a few schools of minnows swimming through that had gotten stuck there at low tide. The boys found some nice shells and a hermit crab in there.

While strolling on the beach, I noticed these cute little birds, that would wank around the wet sand looking for anything the waives may have washed ashore, but then scurry out of the way of on coming waives.

The beaches here are very clean and it's a great family friendly atmosphere. There were also several dogs on the beach today, we watched a lab enjoy dashing into the waves to get his ball. It was quite entertaining for the kids to watch. We saw lots of families with young children especially here, I haven't notices as many school aged kids since it's the beginning of the school year. That is what makes it particularly nice, because the beaches and the boardwalk are not crowded. It's like living in a quiet little beach town, when we get in the car to just drive around the island and site see, we would be only one of like 5 cars on the road (with in eye site). The speed limit here is 25mph so you can take your time while driving along Ocean Ave. it's like taking a leisurely Sunday drive to no where in particular. They have several very nice playgrounds on the island between Ocean and Atlantic Ave. we stopped to let the kids play at two of them.

The kids built their first official sand castles today. We call them official because building a sand castle in a playground sandbox and on an actually beach are two totally different experiences.

After an afternoon at the beach, we went for lunch on the boardwalk and then walked all the way to the north end where the beach begins to have some really nice sand dunes. We took some family photos here before returning to our condo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wildwood, NJ Day 2- Rainy Day Adventures

Today was a rainy day here at the beach, which is always a disappointment when your on any vacation. My kids were horrified this morning when they stepped out on the balcony and saw it was raining. Right away I started thinking what I was going to do with the kids for fun, so as not to waist this day. I thought we could see a movie, I heard there was a theater right on the boardwalk just a block or two away, but they weren't playing a single kid appropriate film, then I found an indoor water park at the Montego Bay Hotel, but after visiting their site, the photos showed it to be just a large swimming pool, and a spiral slide, not very impressive. Then I remembered there was a small aquarium on the boardwalk as well, but after researching, I found several reviews online that said it was nothing more then an exotic pet shop with tropical fish.

So after all my planning bubbles popped, and I thought this day was going to be a wash, the rain stopped. We decided to chance going up to the boardwalk, luckily for us it may have been cloudy and cold, but it didn't rain any more the rest of the day. We ventured down to the Morey's Pier, there are three on the boardwalk, all with the same name, we went the the center one today that held their water park. We heard there was a cool attraction down there called the Ghost Ship, it was a walk through haunted house. On the way down, we got to see a parade of motorcycles ride past us on the boardwalk. Today was the last day of bike week in Wildwood and this was kid of their farewell parade.

The rides on the pier were highly enjoyable, the kids loved them, the tickets aren't cheep though, it costs us $50 for 57 tickets, I wasn't willing to spend any more then that. Unfortunately we learned that today was the last day for their water park for the season, and it was closed, due to the rain. This was yet another disappointment added to our day. And to top it off after buying our tickets we also learned that the pier would be closing early today, at 3pm. This gave us an hour and a half to spend our tickets, I guess the ticket teller didn't feel the need to mention this. We skipped the Ghost ship though, it turned out not to be appropriate for children under 10, my kids were nervous just looking at the thing. Korbin didn't want to get near it, they were playing this loud sound track of spooky music and screams. My husband and I thought it looked like a good time, but I wasn't going to spend the 12 tickets per person to go in it.

We made our way down onto the beach where we found several tidal pools. The kids enjoyed running through these and found several exciting finds. Including seeing their first jelly fish and a few small crabs.

This was the first time we found a large amount of fully intact sea shells, the beach is mostly covered with broken up bits of them, you have to really watch that you don't step on them as not to cut your foot.
For lunch we found a place that served fresh lobster bisque and New England Clam Chowder Soup. It was so good to have a hot cup of soup on a cold day. We tried some of their jumbo peal and eat ship which was just as delicious. We finished up the day just strolling down the board walk, enjoying fudge, and salt water taffy along the way.

When we reached the end we got a ride back to our condo where we discovered a little problem. They room key to our apartment was not the same key that opened the door to let you into the apartment complex! We had to wait for a friend of the owner to come and let us in. I amused the kids by walking around the block taking photos of Domo, a little stuffed animal that Korbin won for Tyler earlier today. We called it "The Many Adventures of Domo, Part 1". We went around the block and the boys took turns finding creative or funny spots to place Domo and we would snap his picture and say what he was up to. They found this quite amusing, and after we finally got back to the room and settled inside, I showed Tyler how to use the Windows Movie Maker on my computer. He learned it very fast and put the photos in the order he wanted and chose the transitions for between them, all by him self. Putting together a photo slide is much easier then video clips. He wanted it to go up on YouTube, but I'm not to sure about that yet, so I've decided to post it here for Domo's first debut. The kids had such a good time finding spots to take his picture and putting together the slide show, that I don't doubt there will be more Adventures with Domo posted here in the future. Hope you enjoy the show.