Happy 3rd Birthday Caden!

Yesterday, Friday 19th, was Caden’s 3rd Birthday! It’s hard to believe that he’s already 3 years old. September has been a very big month for both of the boys, but especially for Caden.

Sept 3rd was the boys first day of preschool, Cooper’s second year and Caden’s first! What a milestone! The boys go three days a week, so Shannon has two days each week to enjoy a couple hours of quiet 😉

Here’s the traditional first day of school pictures from the last two years:

First day of school 2007 First day of school 2008

Then on the 13th, we had the friends and family over to celebrate Caden’s birthday. Shannon made an awesome snake cake and the party was a blast. Here are a couple pictures from the party:

Caden eating a cake Caden opening presents

Then, on his birthday, we had a small family party. We had Caden’s favorite, In-n-Out and even put a candle in his cheeseburger! Caden got so many great gifts, but one of my favorites was a big-wheel – it brought back a lot of childhood memories.

Caden on his new big-wheel Caden blowing out his cheeseburger candle

Which brings up to today…after all of the excitement that September has brought Caden, today was a tough day. This morning, we took the boys to a nearby park. I had planned on reading the newspaper while the boys played, but decided to join them on the playground. I took Caden down one of the big slides, which he was apprehensive about, but I convinced him to do it. The ride down was a little rough and both of Caden’s Crocs were torn off on the way down. Regardless, he climbed right back up to the top of the three-story slide and begged me to take him again.

Going against my intuition, I conceded to a second trip. Despite my best efforts to keep him safe, on the way down Caden’s leg got jammed somehow and I heard a pop/snap sound as we went around one of the turns. I immediately knew something was wrong and told Shannon that we needed to go to the hospital.

We raced to the emergency room with Shannon sitting next to Caden trying to console him during the (what seemed like forever) drive to the hospital. After two rounds of x-rays, we got the bad news – he has a buckle fracture on his left tibia, right below his knee. Because the break/fracture is on a weight bearing bone, the doctor said that he needs to stay off of his feet for 4-6 weeks!

He just turned 3, started school, got a new big-wheel and now is being told that he can’t walk, run or ride for the next 4-6 weeks!!! He’s in a splint right now and will most likely be getting a cast on Tuesday. A big thanks to the Frenches for watching Cooper during the 4 hours we spent in the emergency room and for lending us the wagon that will now be Caden’s main living space for the next month or so. Cooper has been such a loving and concerned big brother – but I think all the attention on Caden is tough for him.

The gallery has been updated with August and September pictures. Here are a couple of Caden with his “owie”.

Caden with a broken leg. Cooper was very concerned and helpful. Caden in his new living space - a wagon

So, wish us luck over the next few weeks and pray for sleep and quick healing for Caden. I know it is going to be so tough to keep him off of his feet!

Filed under: Family
Posted by Eric on September 20th, 2008

Labor Day Weekend 2008

There were two big events this last Labor Day weekend and they were both scheduled on Sunday. The neighborhood were Shannon grew up was throwing a 50th Anniversary party and the Minnesota Twins were in town playing the Oakland A’s. Since there were two events planned for Sunday, Shannon and I decided to split up and each take one of the kids.

Last year, I took Cooper to visit a Twins / A’s game with Grandpa (my Dad). Although Cooper isn’t quite old enough to really “get” baseball, I thought it would be great to try and catch a Twins / A’s game every year as a tradition.

This year Cooper did great and we left around the 7th inning with the Twins winning 8-1! He was very tired and passed out just minutes after we left and slept the entire way home. Here are pictures from our last two trips:

Cooper and Grandpa in 2007 at the A's/Twins game Cooper and Grandpa in 2008 at a A's/Twins game

While we were at the Twins game, Shannon took Caden to Novato for the anniversary party. They had a great time and got to visit with all of the people who have lived on the street over the years.

It’s weird when we split up like that and take the kids different places, but everything worked out. The kids were completely thrown off by our adventures and it took them a week or so to get back on schedule…but what else is new 😉

Filed under: Family
Posted by Eric on September 12th, 2008

Monterey Family Vacation 2008

We recently returned from a 5-day family vacation in the Monterey, CA area. We stayed in a beautiful 1 bedroom cottage, the Quails Nest, in Carmel-By-The-Sea, just blocks away from the beach. Click on the pictures below to view the images for that day.

Day 1

We left our house around 11am and arrived at the Quails Nest around 3:30pm. After unloading the car and familiarizing ourselves with our surroundings, we took the boys for their first beach experience! The waves were perfect and we all had a blast. Plus, I got to try out my new Nikon D40 camera!

Shannon, Cooper and Caden walking to the water Cooper and Caden running from a wave

Day 2

After a horrible night sleep for the entire family, we headed off to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. On our way, we decided to take a scenic tour on the 17 Mile Drive.

The aquarium was nice…they’ve added a new building and a lot of new exhibits since we (Shannon and I) were last there. It was kind of a tough day with the family being so exhausted, but all-in-all, we had a good time. The sounds of screaming parents and other kids having melt-downs helped make our situation seem more normal. To avoid another night of poor sleep, we went to bed with the kids…at 7:30pm.

The Kelp Forest

Day 3

Thankfully we got a good night of sleep…and we needed it too. We spent the entire day at the Gilroy Gardens (formerly the Bonfante Gardens) with Roger (Grandpa), Gail (Grandmama), Nina, J.P. and Kain. If you have kids and are looking for a beautiful, fun place…I strongly suggest trying it out. The food is expensive and not very good (just ask J.P. and Nina), so we brought our own food and ate outside the park.

Everyone on the Snake Rollercoaster

Day 4

The first part of the day was spent hiking around Point Lobos. Deemed “The Greatest Meeting of Land and Water in The World”…it certainly was beautiful. Besides having to wait around forever to get one of the few parking spots…it was one of my highlights of the trip.

At the end of the day, we took the boys to the beach again, this time to the one at the end of Ocean Ave in Carmel-By-The-Sea. The beach was very crowded and the waves were too strong for the boys. We tried to play in the water…but after one too many times of having Caden almost swept out to sea…we called it a day.

Shannon and the boys at Point Lobos The family at Point Lobos

Day 5

Our last day…one last drive down Scenic Rd in Carmel-By-The-Sea before heading up to Monterey to take the boys to the Dennis the Menace Playground. At the playground, Cooper went straight to the train engine, took control as the engineer and was shouting out “Allllllllll abooooaaaard”. It was a nice ending to a great family trip…and we were back home in Rocklin by 4:30pm!

Cooper, the engineer

Filed under: Family
Posted by Eric on August 27th, 2008


Today I took Cooper on a father-son outing to Strikes, a nearby bowling alley. I wasn’t sure if he’d like it or even be able to roll a ball all the way down the lane, but…well…watch and see for yourself:

He had a blast and didn’t seem to have any problem whipping that 6lb ball down the lane! It took me a while to warm up and he even had a higher score until the 8th frame 😉

Make sure to check YouTube for more bowling videos. I’ve also added some pictures to the gallery.

Filed under: Cooper
Posted by Eric on August 10th, 2008

New Feature!

I’ve added the ability to subscribe to updates on ShannonMartin.com. Once you subscribe, you’ll receive an email notification when new posts are added to the site.


You can also find a Subscribe link in the “Links” section below.

Filed under: General
Posted by Eric on August 10th, 2008

Introducing…Cooper’s Corner

Cooper has taken up the art of photography…so I’ve setup a gallery just for him:

Cooper’s Corner

You can also find a link in the “Links” section below.

I’ve also added more pictures in our gallery for June, July and August.


Filed under: Cooper,General
Posted by Eric on August 7th, 2008


ren·ais·sance [ren-uh-sahns]
– a renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc.; rebirth;

After two + years of neglect, shannonmartin.com has received a renewal of life!

The site has a new design and is now being powered by WordPress. The design is a highly modified version of the Alley Garden WordPress Theme.

Some changes are in store for the gallery as well. The album that was previous just for the boys, has been renamed to Our Family and will start to include all of our pictures (not just ones of the boys).

As part of this renaissance, I plan on posting more often and am hoping to be able to do some “catch-up” posts, that explain what we’ve been up to for the last couple of years 😉

Filed under: General
Posted by Eric on June 26th, 2008

New pictures…new album.

The boys have thier own picture albums through April 2006. From May 2006 on, all of the pictures of the boys will be in a new album, The Boys.

Filed under: General
Posted by Eric on April 30th, 2006