• Lego City Display 31.08.13

    This was a smaller display (with movement) from Lego KidsFest in San Jose, CA. It’s similar to what you find in retail store displays but still exciting when surrounded by all the Lego stuff kids love.

  • Lego Pirates of the Caribbean 31.08.13

    As awesome as this is and as much love as Corbin has for Pirates, this was not his favorite display at Lego KidsFest in San Jose, CA.

  • Lego Lone Ranger Display 31.08.13

    This is the Lone Ranger display from Lego KidsFest in San Jose, CA. You can see a lot of the creative ways to create scenes and a few hidden gems (like the Darth Vader Easter egg)

  • Lego Chima Speedorz arena 31.08.13

    Today I took Corbin to Lego KidsFest in San Jose, CA. Here he tries his hand at the Speedorz arena (again). Still needs work.

  • Lego Legends of Chima Exhibit 31.08.13

    Today I took Corbin to Lego KidsFest in San Jose, CA. Here is one of the display cases they had throughout the exhibit hall. He really liked the skeleton creatures.

  • I thought I’d get to hear your voice again 28.11.12

    This past weekend has been a tough one for me and my family. Thursday I turned 40 (yes, 40) and while that isn’t tragic what followed is. Part two of our SoCal trip was to visit my parents. My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma cancer. Because of her age, health and severity of […]

  • I brought home some "end of roll" paper 28.09.12

    I brought home some "end of roll" paper from our large format plotter at work for the boys to draw on.  I figured they'd have fun drawing on such a large sheet of paper. I was right. Corbin colored his own mural and +Julia Shiras taped it on his wall.  Benjamin was the project's Foreman. Google+: View post […]

  • +Julia Shiras, how does your garden grow? 12.07.12

    +Julia Shiras, how does your garden grow? The tomato plant in the "main" garden is taller than me and I'm 6'-4" In album July 12, 2012 (8 photos) Google+: View post on Google+

  • My little goonies watching Goonies. 20.05.12

    My little goonies watching Goonies. Google+: View post on Google+

  • Too Cheesy 18.05.12

    More fun pictures of Benjamin (also lacking a great caption) Google+: View post on Google+

  • Corbin took this photo of Benjamin about a year ago 18.05.12

    I want to caption it with something witty or profound but nothing comes to mind. So I'm just going to share it as is. maybe something will come to me later. Google+: View post on Google+

  • Corbin starting to watch Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time. 01.04.12

    Corbin starting to watch Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time. Google+: View post on Google+

  • Corbin is now 4 and with much power comes much responsibility 02.12.11

    He, like most children is very accomplished – in some things. Other areas still need a lot of work. He is already an great artist but has expanded his expertise to include composing songs (and lyrics) despite not being able to read and performing for large audiences – if by large you mean mom, dad […]

  • Who’s Big Baby 21.11.11

    When Toy Story 3 came out I took my son, Corbin, to see it in the theater – a real Father-Son experience, or so I thought. I guess he was still too young to appreciate a full length movie. When it came out on DVD/Blu-ray we tried again but that’s when I found out why […]

  • First Editions 03.10.11

    I’m not a collector, not in the professional sense of the word. I don’t actively seek rarities or groups of memorabilia or even save the free toys in the occasional kids meal. No, I’m a pack-rat at best and not a very good one at that. But I do have some things of value worth […]

  • Apple Hill 12.09.11

    Saturday, the family took a trip up to Apple Hill (Placerville, CA) to enjoy some local farms and do some traditional fall activities. We hit several farms including two straw bale mazes and a corn maze, ate apple fritters, got a pie and checked out the animals and craft booths. Plus the drive was really […]

  • Throwing rocks in Chaska 29.06.11

    Two years ago, we spent some time with family in Chaska Minnesota. It was a fun trip full of relaxing as well as adventure but mostly it was a great get-away week. We begin our trip by missing our flight and having to wait in the airport for several hours for the next flight. This […]

  • How to beat the Heat – and know when to quit 17.06.11

    Benjamin enjoys sitting poolside but can’t stand being inside the pool. Corbin creates a new game where he tosses an inflatable ring onto a stream of water – good luck with that. Beating the heat on a hot spring day – too bad Corbin didn’t realize the heat had already lost.

  • Random Shirts beat Random Crap 07.06.11

    A couple of weeks ago, I managed to score another Bag of Crap (#5) from and it lived up to its name. That same week, I order three Random Shirts from for the bargain price of $6.66 each (and none of them were satanic). I already have enough shirts from woot so this […]

  • Benzilla strikes again 18.05.11

    After working on his walking skills for the past few weeks, we finally capture Benjamin walking free style in the back yard. he’s quite good (if I do say so myself) Like his brother before him and probably most kids, Benjamin was walking pretty well before this footage was shot but was only confident when […]

  • Corbin loves the theAter 18.05.11

    When I first moved to Sacramento, I stayed with some friends we knew from San Diego who moved here a few years ago. Being the only friends we had in the area, we try to spend time with them when opportunity permits despite the fact they live 30-40 minutes away. Easter was one occasion we […]

  • All board the Poo Poo Train 28.04.11

    Corbin is 3yrs 4mos old and has finally decided to use the potty. It’s partly our fault for not trying harder before now but he’s had no inclination what-so-ever to use the potty thus far so we didn’t push it. I don’t know if it’s the move to Sacramento or just the right time but […]

  • Resurrection Sunday 25.04.11

    Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday so I wanted to share a little about how we spend the day before getting back to the history of the past month. We’re still looking for a church home and following the recommendation of fellow blogger Dan Phillips, I tried out a small church up in Citrus Heights. Searching for […]

  • Benjamin at the San Diego Zoo 06.03.11

    On our most recent “family trip” to our old friend, the San Diego Zoo, I captured this video of Benjamin practicing his finer motor skills. He’s been walking with our support for some time now but still isn’t confident enough to let go. He’s not even ready to one-hand it but I’m sure Corbin will […]

  • Benjamin plays around the dolphin fountain 06.03.11

    A few weeks ago we stopped by one of our favorite dining spots on the way back from an outing. This particular Red Robin is at University Town Center (aka UTC). One of the features at this mall is the dolphin fountains. They are a big hit with the kids and Benjamin was no exception. […]

  • Fun Ball Madness 04.03.11

    Corbin recently attended a birthday party for a 5yr old friend who received a Fun Ball from Costco as a gift. It was opened early so the kids could all give it a try. Corbin (3yr 3mos) is tyoically NOT a thrill seeker so I was quite surprised when he said he wanted to try […]

  • Tight turn train track 24.01.11

    Every now and then Corbin needs his track layout freshened up – Especially after Ben-zilla has rampage through.?So after taking down the dark space station which replaced the christmas tree I thought I’d try something different. This is a compilation of several pieces of track and accessories from the various sets I’ve acquired. Enjoy

  • Christmas un-wrapped preview 01.01.11

    I’ll put together a more detailed post(s) about Christmas this year but for now you’ll have to be satisfied with these two videos of Corbin playing with a couple new toys…

  • Happy Birthday Cap’n Corbin (belated) 21.12.10

    Its been a busy time for us so forgive me for getting this post out late (and keeping it short). Captain Corbin, aka Corbin Beard, turned three years old on December 2nd (a Thursday) so we celebrated on the following Saturday with a big party in the park. When he turned one we had a […]

  • Corbin meets The Mouse 16.12.10

    This is a little over due and picture heavy but well worth the wait (I hope) On Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 we exposed Corbin to the greatest corrupter of small children the world over – Disneyland. We decided that given his response to the county fair, he was old enough to appreciate a day at […]

  • Video update because I still haven’t had time to post real content 09.12.10

    Benjamin doesn’t eat much. In fact, he doesn’t eat at all. For him its mother’s milk or nothing. No formula or baby food for him. But, give him something not meant to be eaten, like a whole fruit or a the mail or his shoes…he’ll go to town on those. We just picked up a […]

  • Arrr! Happy Halloween me mateys! 01.11.10

    Once again, Corbin donned his favorite costume to be a Pirate, but what a fine Pirate he makes. This year’s costume, while reminiscent of last year’s has several new pieces. Old shirt which fits better, new vest (hand made), same head scarf but new pants and shoes. This year introduced a sword and eye patch […]

  • Corbin the aviary aviator 26.10.10

    I found an old toy plane so Corbin and I decided to take it for a spin – literally. It’s a corrugated plastic bird plane and that’s what Corbin called it – airplane bird. Sadly, the plane wasn’t so good at straight flight and showed a real propensity for banking to the right. This worked […]

  • The Dark Space Train Station 25.10.10

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love Craig’s List? I really love it. I find so many good deals there but you have to be patient and quick. Patient to wait for the good deals and quick to act on them when they come. One way I’ve gotten quicker is with an Craigslist app. […]

  • Puzzle Master 02.09.10

    Corbin has demonstrated some serious mad skilz in the puzzle arena. He loves playing with his wooden tray puzzles and is quite proficient at them. They each contain 48 pieces which represents a certain size of piece. Children’s puzzles typically come in one overall size and the number of pieces represents how small each piece […]

  • Corbin’s Dark Side 17.08.10

    I love the look on Corbin?s face in this photo. It shows a hidden dark side as he plays with his friend. I think he?s planning to feed the squirrels. A couple of co-workers think he?s sneaking a beer (in violation of San Diego?s Booze Ban) For the record, he’s drinking organic apple juice. His […]

  • Shark spotted at La Jolla Shores 17.08.10

    The rare and elusive (and typically land-bound) archshrk was spotted this weekend at La Jolla Shores. Despite starting his day early with a monthly Men’s Breakfast (7-9am) then going to Hilton Head Park to help set-up tables and canopies for a birthday party (9:30-2:30) this tired old creature managed to limp his way to the […]

  • Train Table 2.0 29.07.10

    So a couple of weeks ago I realized (again) that there are just certain limitations to the track layout options for Corbin’s wooden trains. He has enough pieces to make all sorts of designs but there are only so many ways you can make straight and curved pieces fit together on the train table. We […]

  • Random Pictures 16.07.10

    I haven’t had much to say lately (you can stop cheering now). I’ve started a new website project which will likely keep me busy for a while and raising two boys fills up my “spare” time pretty quickly. So I thought I’d just share some recent pictures to keep you from thinking I’ve forgotten all […]

  • Corbin Beard strikes again! 07.07.10

    One of Corbin’s favorite games is “pirates!” or “swords”. Here’s a little sample of his swash buckling ways. Watch the first video, then hit play on the second video immediately afterward. Corbin Beard, aka Captain Corbin, has become legendary in his 2-1/2 years on the high seas. Thankfully, he is one of The Pirates Who […]

  • Boosters are a GO! 28.06.10

    Corbin is at the size where we need to consider moving him to a booster car seat. California Law allows children over 40 pounds to use a booster seat used with lap and shoulder belts. He can’t use just the lap and shoulder belts until he is 60 pounds. At his last appointment, he weighed […]

  • Benjamin the Snake Eater 24.06.10

    Benjamin enjoys some personal time in the crib, chewing on an inch worm toy. The Lamaze Musical Inchworm is a plush toy that’s perfect for playing and napping. Developed in conjunction with child development experts from Yale University, the Inchworm promotes mom and baby interaction, encourages tummy time fun, and supports healthy physical and sensory […]

  • It was a Fair day 20.06.10

    A good friend of ours gave us tickets to the San Diego Fair again and this time it was worth it. Last year, we went with a group of people which turns out not to be a such a good idea when they all have kids. Nobody can come to a consensus so we spend […]

  • It’s NOT all about the Corbins 09.06.10

    I don’t want to give you the idea that we favor Corbin, it’s just that he does more to show you than Benjamin. For the most part, Benjamin eats, sleeps and poops but he is starting to add to his repertoire or is that repartee. Anyway, here’s a couple videos of Benjamin in action. Benjamin […]

  • Hit it! 07.06.10

    Corbin demonstrates his mad drumming skills. He is quite good and very self restrained. He might have a future as a drummer, if you consider drumming a future.

  • gon out, backson, bisy, backson 04.06.10

    We’re not the more outgoing people but we’re not hermits either and the lasts couple of weekends were proof of that. But before I get into that, I should probably walk you through a typical day… Benjamin is still a wild card. He eats and sleeps pretty much whenever the mood strikes him. It’s kind […]

  • Looking Back at Easter 28.04.10

    Julia posted an Easter picture today and that got me thinking about how much kids change, especially in the first five years of life. Just to give you a sample, here’s pictures from the last three Easters.

  • Because still photos aren’t always enough 24.03.10

    Some videos from a very busy weekend where Corbin eats Dairy Queen, Benjamin greets the world and Corbin and Benjamin hang out sharing a moment.

  • Meet Benjamin Rainer 24.03.10

    Funny how things work. I had just finished posting the last three post related to labor and delivery on Sunday and was working on the bills when it was time for dinner. After dinner, we played and read to Corbin before putting him to bed. Actually, I had to read because Julia was feeling a […]

  • Scriptures for Labor and Birth 21.03.10

    As we prepare for the birth of our second child, I am reminded of the importance of supporting my wife both physically and spiritually. All the breathing exercises and back rubs in the world won’t bring her reassurance like the truth of God’s word can. With that in mind, I want to share with you […]

  • Birth Plan 21.03.10

    A good birth plan is important for a couple of reasons; one, it makes your intentions and desires know to the delivery team prior – especially when you are not able to “think clearly”. Second, it makes you and your partner think through these issues prior to going to the hospital. This is important because […]

  • What should I bring to the hospital when I go into labor 21.03.10

    We are only days away from delivering our second child and I am reminded of the need to be prepared. There are several things I want to do that I just haven’t gotten around to. Like printing my list of scripture to read to Julia during and after delivery, making sure I have plenty of […]

  • A message from Corbin 17.03.10

    That is all.

  • The (wrong) name game 12.02.10

    We still haven’t picked a name but we’ve narrowed it down a bit (no, we’re not telling you our current choices). but I came across an interesting article on – A Roshanda by Any Other Name How do babies with super-black names fare? which starts off with this story.. In 1958, a New York […]

  • Full Circle 09.02.10

    With our second child only weeks away and our first born just over two years old, there wasn’t a lot of things we needed to prepare prior to bringing Jr. home. In fact, we really only needed two things… A name and a double stroller. Unfortunately, we haven’t picked either yet. We’ve managed to narrow […]

  • We all scream… 30.01.10

    On Wednesday, we were over at a friends house and because it was their birthday the next day we all celebrated with some ice cream. Now this was Corbin’s first experience with an ice cream cone so he didn’t even know how to eat it. Julia had to show him and even then he was […]

  • Corbin – Supermodel 14.01.10

    The many faces of Corbin…

  • Name the baby 05.01.10

    One question that comes up often for expectant parents is “Do you know what you’re having?” and the other is “Have you picked a name yet?” Let me tell you this now so you don’t become one of those people…you can’t learn the baby’s gender until around 20 weeks, aka – the half way point. […]

  • Corbin’s first bike 25.12.09

    OK, so technically its a trike but he took to it like a champ. One thing we’ve noticed is how much Corbin loves anything with wheels. Corbin got lots of other great stuff this year (and more tomorrow) and this wasn’t necessarily his favorite but this is something you have to capture as one of […]

  • Corbin turns 2 04.12.09

    Since Corbin’s second birthday fell on a Wednesday, we made a cake to celebrate as a family. Nothing fancy but he enjoyed it and so did we. He spent the morning at the zoo with several friends which you can see over at Julia’s blog.

  • Oh, Brother 02.11.09

    You may recall a few months back that I mentioned how Corbin is going to be a big brother. And as with any pregnancy, people speculate both on what gender the child will be and what gender you want the child to be. For most, it’s hard to fathom that you will be equally happy […]

  • Corbin Beard scores big plunder 02.11.09

    Halloween this year was a lot different than last year. First off, Corbin walked the whole time. That’s not surprising considering he couldn’t walk at all last year, but he usually gets tired/lazy and wants to be carried about half the time. i think keeping up with his cousins made all the difference. What really […]

  • Halloween Preview 27.10.09

    Corbin Beard’s outfit is coming together nicely. Grandma made the vest and sash/belt, the shirt and pants (not pictured) are off-the-shelf clothing. It’s not really as pink as it appears. That’s a result of our crappy cellphone cameras. Look for better photos later in the week. There may even be a child model next time.

  • Our Wish Lists 15.10.09

    With the annual gift getting giving season in the archshrk household coming up, I wanted to let anyone and everyone who wanted to know, exactly what we wanted for our Birthdays or Christmas. So go on over to the Happy Birthday Page and bookmark it for future reference. That page should be good for ever […]

  • Corbin at 22 months 13.10.09

    Corbin is now 22 months old (has been for a couple of weeks now) and he still surprises me with every new skill. Most things are subtle and are only noticeable in contrast to what he used to do/say. He’s beginning to put two words together which sounds easy but for a child, that’s a […]

  • Naturally Playful Woodland Climber 06.10.09

    That’s what it’s called. Took me several tries to find it but find it I did. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to search for a product that doesn’t have any real unique characteristics, especially when it’s been described to you using certain words which are all too common. Look at the following […]

  • Ergo out, Hello BOB? 09.09.09

    So we got a chance to look at the Joovy Ergo Caboose this weekend and it’s a little bigger than I imagined. OK, it’s a lot bigger. At 41″ long, that’s 6″ longer than the Graco DuoGlider meaning it’s like driving an even bigger semi truck (in reverse). So it’s back to square one in […]

  • March 29th? 02.09.09

    That’s our current due date. Though he’s barely the size of a kumquat ? a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom ? and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal […]

  • When Pirates Attack 01.09.09

    So the other day, Julia put a Shark puppet on Corbin’s hand which he then used to ‘chase’ us around and growl (even sharks need to sound fierce). Tonight, it was a red bandanna – this is the result. This one’s for you DinkyInky. You are a Pirate!

  • ergo 01.09.09

    So maybe $400 on a stroller isn’t too much. If you recall from an earlier post, I talked about how we were thinking about getting a Joovy Caboose tandem stroller for when baby number two arrives. At the time, I couldn’t see why the Ergo version of the Caboose was so much more than the […]

  • Maybe we need a Caboose 18.08.09

    With the upcoming addition to our family, we realized we will need a new stroller. The BOB Revolution has served us well but Corbin isn’t quite big enough to walk all the time. So I began looking at our options. I first looked at the BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller but Julia was concerned that it […]

  • All aboard 17.08.09

    Just after 7am this morning, Corbin woke up to a wonderful surprise – ergonomics! Last night, around 8:30pm I drove 45 minutes to meet a man about a train table. $60 later, we were the proud owners of a Kidkraft Land, Air, Sea Train Table Set (minus a few pieces). These tables typically cost around […]

  • You can tell from six 03.08.09

    Some movies just have great lines of dialog that stick with you. It’s not just the lines themselves but the way they are delivered. Here’s one such scene from Sliding Doors that sticks with me. [Helen walks into the room holding a pregnancy test] Anna: James? [Helen nods] Anna: Since last night? [Helen stares] Anna: […]

  • Here Comes Science 31.07.09

    On the heels of the Grammy winning ?Here Come the 123s? They Might Be Giants have created a new album of songs related to science. The entire album has been fully animated on a second disc that comes with the specially priced set. Here Comes Science ( Exclusive) [CD/DVD] For me, this is great news. […]

  • Riding the LILLABO Express 13.07.09

    Despite my efforts to influence Corbin’s personal tastes, he does not seem to be infatuated with sharks. In fact, he seems to prefer those blood thirsty Dolphins you hear so much about but isn’t overly attached – yet. Corbin seems to be interested in all sorts of animals right now so we’ll see if he […]

  • Corbin earns his wings 24.06.09

    I’ve been meaning to write about our trip to Minnesota but with work and studying for the LEED Exam, I haven’t gotten around to it. In fact, I’ve been pretty off-line since before our trip, only checking emails and scanning my RSS feeds to keep it from piling up too much. The good news is, […]

  • Corbin has mad skilz 01.06.09

    Not the next American Idol, but still… We picked this up last week and Corbin took to it right away. He found the volume and tempo buttons and makes his own mixes. He just needs to work on his dance moves – if he has any.

  • Shopping for Corbin 16.04.09

    A while back Corbin had a play date with Stasi and we finally got the pictures from that day. It was a gloomy day so Iris (Stasi’s sitter) and Julia took to the kids to PlayTown in El Cajon. Owned and operated by local parents, Play Town is an indoor playground designed for children ages […]

  • Easter – then and now 13.04.09

    This is a quick post about Easter, or more properly – Resurrection Sunday. We had a good time at Mae’s again and the girls are less interested in finding and re-hiding the eggs this year. Plus Corbin had a private, beginner’s egg hunt all his own. Too bad he just wanted to throw the eggs […]

  • Walks like Frankenstein’s Monster 08.04.09

    That’s what people say when the see Corbin coming – but give him a break, most babies start out that way. Of course, it doesn’t help that he makes monster noises when he walks… Download Conversion of crappy cell phone .3G2 video to .mov format courtesy of free Media Converter Visit Julia’s post about […]

  • Corbin’s First Concert 23.02.09

    Corbin’s almost 15 months now but he’s already been to one concert – and I don’t mean Raffi or Barney the Dinosuar. I mean a real, full-fledge, ringing-in-your ears concert. Of course, he doesn’t remember it. Back in October 2007, Julia and I went to see They Might Be Giants with two other couples – […]

  • They Might Be Giants Win Grammy 10.02.09

    Yesss. They Might Be Giants? kids album ?Here Come The 123s? has won a Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children! Congratulations to They Might Be Giants on their Grammy Award for Best Musical Album for Children for their most recent kids CD “Here Come The 123s“. John Flansburgh and John Linnell previously won a […]

  • Shiras Moose 23.01.09

    Alces alces shirasi Shiras moose, also known as Wyoming moose, is the smallest of the subspecies of moose. In addition to being slightly more compact than its northern cousins, the Shiras Moose is noticeably lighter in color along its back. The face lightens to a brown color in summer and becomes darker, almost black, in […]

  • Corbin’s Smile 8.0 23.01.09

    Corbin’s pretty photogenic – except when you try to get pictures of his teeth

  • Corbin walks the walker 03.01.09

    Grandma recently broke her foot and is using a walker while her foot heals. Since she was enjoying a piece of Christmas pie, Corbin decided to take her walker for a spin. It works a lot better than those Fisher Price walkers which are too short for Corbin (13 months), cost about the same as […]

  • Christmas Wagon 03.01.09

    One of the many things people gave Corbin for Christmas this year was a kids wagon. Wagon for Two Plus by Step2, specifically. When grandma (nana) watched him over the weekend a while back, she discovered how much he enjoyed riding in her garden wagon, so she got him his own wagon to ride around […]

  • Fresh Powder equals White Christmas 18.12.08

    As promised, here are a couple pictures from the High Desert (Apple Valley, CA) showing fresh snow on the ground. It should last until we get there on Thursday but I hear another big storm is rolling in around that time next week so we may see more fresh powder. Can’t wait to share with […]

  • Corbin?s 1st Birthday Party 25.11.08

    On Saturday we celebrated Corbin?s 1st birthday with some friends and family at the Aztec Park in La Mesa. It was kind of a last minute decision to have his party early, but I think it was a good choice. My biggest concern was whether or not the weather would cooperate and it ended up […]

  • Corbin’s Wish List 09.11.08

    This time of year is a very busy one for us. There are a lot of birthdays starting with my sister on October, Julia?s brother in early November, followed by my mom, then me (22nd), Julia (27th), Corbin (Dec 2nd) and finally Christmas. So for your convenience we?ve put together a wish list to help […]

  • Corbin is 11 months old! 03.11.08

    Corbin: energetic, funny, loving, curious, laughs and smiles constantly, makes friends easily, easy going, loves riding in the stroller and taking in the scenery, ridiculously picky about the consistency of his food, claps his hands, has five teeth, and gets frustrated when he rolls onto his tummy. There are so many other fun things about […]

  • Baby Battles 22.10.08

    Corbin is 10 and a half months but is already training for the Ultimate Fighting Championship – Gage Match version. Couple things to keep in mind, his opponent (a climber) is 3 weeks older than him and a lot more ‘agile’ but Corbin makes up for it in reach and brute force. Oh, and for […]

  • 10 months and still growing 06.10.08

    Corbin is now 10 months old but you would hardly guess it. He comes from “large” stock (aka me) so despite being so young, he looks much older (as I always did). The downside to being above average is that his little boy arms are trying to lift a big boy body (and not making […]

  • Santee Lakes 22.09.08

    We spent a little time Saturday afternoon at Santee Lakes. I highly recommend spending more time outside. [view pictures]

  • Ticket to Ride 26.05.08

    It’s all a matter of inches. In the Olympics, they measure winners in milliseconds, inches, and fractions of points. So when you set the bar for a requirement, you best be sure it’s exactly what you want. For those of you who’ve never seen my son, Corbin, in person let me share with you a […]

  • Corbin at 5 months 05.05.08

    Corbin turned 5 months on May 2nd and to celebrate his dad installed his new Britax convertible carseat as well as added the tray attachment to his stroller. It’s hard to believe he’s already outgrown his infant seat, but it’s true. He’s at least 19lbs if not more and approximately 27″ tall. Corbin continues to […]

  • Corbin at 4 months 15.04.08

    Where has my little boy gone? Can you believe these two pictures are the same kid?
    Neither can I. [view pictures]

  • Planet Of The Apes 09.04.08

    My friend Finn recently saw the following sign in her pediatrician’s office. Please refrain from allowing your children to destroy the furniture in the waiting room. We?d like to maintain a pleasant environment for everyone. When I first read that, my thought was “FINALLY, someone with gumption” but apparently Finn has problem with it. After […]

  • 4 Month Update 08.04.08

    I know a lot of you have been waiting for this… Julia just posted about Corbin’s 4 Month Update Today has been a day I have been looking forward to as well as dreading. It was my sons 4 month appointment. I love the part where they tell you all the stats, but I dread […]

  • Corbin is too big 29.03.08

    So I’ve heard that most babies double their birth weight at around 6 months. Corbin did it at 3 months. While that sounds real impressive, and it is, there are a few drawbacks. First, he’s that much heavier so holding him gets harder each day. Second, he’s going through his clothes faster than average (which […]

  • Easter was great 24.03.08

    3297 This weekend was great. The weather was awesome, the bay wasn’t crowded and Easter lunch was fun. Friday night, our friend Angie came over (long overdue) and she made us dinner and we taught her how to play Settlers of Catan. I won both games but it was close. Saturday, we went down to […]

  • Pictures Of Corbin 17.03.08

    3265 I thought you’d all enjoy new pictures of Corbin. He’s 3 months 1 week and 4 days old, but nobody’s counting. hehe. He’s very alert, curious, easy going, babbles constantly, loves to cuddle, hates being on his tummy, bats at toys, just recently found out that he can put his hands in his mouth, […]

  • Corbin is sick 19.02.08

    Last Thursday Corbin started coughing, but we thought it was just a cold and didn’t think much of it. That night, however, Corbin started coughing more often and he seemed uncomfortable. we were concerned that he was coming down with something right before we were going out of town, so Julia called to get an […]

  • World?s fastest growing baby returns 06.02.08

    World?s fastest growing baby returns. 3177 Last Monday was Corbin’s 8 week check up where he was examined, measured, weighed and shot – four times. First off, the stats. Born 21-inches long and 8lbs-4ozs Corbin is now 24-1/2-inches at 13lbs-7ozs. He’s nearly doubled his birth weight in 8 weeks – that’s my boy. As for […]

  • Corbin at 5 weeks 11.01.08

    3159 Corbin is now 5 weeks old (almost 6 believe it or not) and from the pictures you can see that he’s growing fast. He is much more alert and playful now than a few weeks ago. He enjoys his swing, going for walks in the stroller, spending time with mom and dad and being […]

  • Merry Christmas 24.12.07

    As you know, this is a very special year for us. This will be Corbin’s first Christmas and while he won’t remember it much, we’ll be enjoying it on his behalf. Typically we have Christmas Eve dinner at Julia’s parents and spend Christmas day at her brother’s. But due to scheduling conflicts we moved the […]

  • The Secret Language of Babies 13.12.07

    The Dunstan Baby Language For millions of sleep-deprived mothers around the world, this woman’s findings could be a miracle! Priscilla Dunstan, a mom from Australia with a special gift, says she’s unlocked The Secret Language of Babies. When Priscilla was a toddler, her parents discovered she had a photographic memory for sound. At age 4, […]

  • What does Corbin mean? 09.12.07

    One of the most common questions we get asked as new parents is; “Where did the name Corbin come from?” The simple answer is nowhere. But I guess that’s not going to fly so here’s the deal. One of the first names I wanted to consider was Calvin. A cool sounding name but a little […]

  • Scripture for Labor and Delivery 09.12.07

    Many women find pregnancy, labor, and birth, to be a time of spiritual growth and a clearer understanding of how much God must really love us. Memorizing scripture verses or having them read to you during labor can help keep you relaxed, focused, and confident in God’s design in the birth process. Here are some […]

  • Meet Corbin Alexander 06.12.07

    Meet Corbin Alexander. Born December 2nd at 4:14am and weighing 8lbs 3oz and 22″ long. Click on the picture to see more. Everyone is doing well and adjusting to our new lifestyle quickly. There’s lots to learn and no amount of classes or reading can prepare you for all of it. Somethings you just have […]

  • What a busy weekend 03.12.07

    This has been quite a busy weekend for us. Our son is due December 12th so we wanted to make sure we took care of things around the house now, before it got too busy. Friday was budget day. I reviewed the statements and receipts to see where we could cut back on our spending. […]

  • Cracking down on baby names 30.11.07

    Real life Blog Friend Wendy commented on a recent post in which I mentioned we still haven’t named our son with a link to a much needed service. All I have to say is, foreigners are funny. Cracking down on baby names – Chaser’s War

  • EDD – Disability Insurance – Paid Family Leave Insurance 30.11.07

    California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage-replacement insurance plan for California workers. The SDI programs are State-mandated, and funded through employee payroll deductions. SDI provides affordable, short-term benefits to eligible workers. Workers covered by SDI are covered by two programs. The Disability Insurance (DI) program was established for workers who suffer a loss […]

  • Take that, Kimberly 29.11.07

    Competition can be healthy but when it comes to pregnancy, not so much. But its easy to do since you have so little to measure your pregnancy against. Our good friend Kimberly is pregnant with her second child and has a due date shortly after ours. Her first born was very premature so we’re all […]

  • 14 days to go! 28.11.07

    So I guess I do have something to write about today. We only have 14 days to go! We’re very excited and eager, too. We’re in the home stretch and feeling very good about everything. Julia is doing well and we have all the “stuff” we need and are well prepared. We’re ready. Or as […]

  • The last thing I need 26.11.07

    Well, this is the last thing I need. I guess it’s just another one of those days. As I’ve shared in the past, we’ve been blessed by the generous gifts of family and friends who have provided us with the new and gently used items we need for safely raising our son. The few items […]

  • 34 weeks 16.11.07

    Your baby is still packing on the pounds ? at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18-1/2 inches long. He’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the […]

  • Unexpected 09.11.07

    This is a two part post. first how does this statement make you feel? woman without her man is nothing more on that after the next part. Unexpected. That’s what it was. DinkyInky from the Inktank Forums has generously sent us a baby gift. And not some homemade craft that is unsafe for children in […]

  • Thank You All 05.11.07

    We’re very excited about our son’s upcoming birth. We’ve been blessed with lots of friends and family who support us with their gifts, advice and time. Having just finished up our last baby shower last weekend, we find ourselves very well prepared for our son’s arrival. Well, as prepared as we can. Babies have a […]

  • ExerSaucer 30.10.07

    2973 As an expectant father, I admit that there are times when I don’t feel as connected to my son as my wife does. That’s understandable since she’s the one who feels every kick, jab and wiggle but there is one way I get to participate that is right up my alley. Nesting. Nesting isn’t […]

  • Beautiful glider-rocker 14.10.07

    Tuesday night, we picked up another Craig’s List bargain. A Nursing-Glider-Rocker and matching ottoman. Here’s the description from the posting… Beautiful glider/rocker in great condition. Extremely relaxing, comfortable. Matching ottoman rocks also, or can be locked in still position. Glider also locks for child safety. Top of the line quality. Pale buttercream (yellow) cushions and […]

  • Birth plan 13.10.07

    Birth plan example found in the Johnson?s – Mother & Baby book. I am looking forward to the birth of my first child, and I have written down a few ideas on how I hope my labor will progress. 1. Support person ? My partner, ____, will be with me throughout the birth. 2. Monitoring […]

  • Baby Backpack 10.10.07

    Smart Baby Packs, the ultimate in style and function, have features you never knew you wanted, but you’ll never want to be without. The Sienna Backpack is a lightweight, backpack-style diaper bag with multiple interior and exterior accessory compartments. Features include a thermal bottle chamber with Therma-Flect reflective barrier insulation, interior ice pack/accessory pocket, an […]

  • Nesting 10.10.07

    1463 My first car was a 1978 Plymouth Volare – two tone blue. Imagine a mini Nova. Two doors with the pimp car frame-less windows and it rode close to the ground and I could replace the tires for as little as $25 but go splurge on the $55 tires that lasted much longer. Things […]

  • Going into labor – Signs 10.10.07

    Knowing the signs (prelabor stage can last for 2, 3, or even more weeks, so don?t be surprised if things don?t happen quickly) * A nesting instinct ? the urge to rush around getting your house in order before the baby appears. * Change in movement pattern. * In the days before the birth it […]

  • What to pack for the hospital when you go into labor 08.10.07

    Below is a list of items you should remember to pack for the hospital when you go into labor. This list was found in the Johnson?s – Mother & Baby book, which is proving to be a very wonderful and useful resource for Julia and I as we prepare for our first child. You can […]

  • Shameless self promotion 06.10.07

    But it’s for my baby. So we are registered and with less than 10 weeks to go, we’re about to get into the shower season. We currently have four different showers scheduled, which sounds like a lot, but is really the best way to keep them intimate. One with my family, one with Julia’s family, […]

  • Nursing Covers by Julia 28.09.07

    Recently, Julia started making Nursing Blankets (commonly known as “Hooter Hiders” which is also sold under the name Bebe au Lait). The name brand ones cost $45 or more and do come in cool patterns. But they still cost $45. Making them isn’t very difficult, it just takes some basic sewing skills and time. Two […]

  • Revolution in Orange 20.09.07

    Since we’re on the topic of baby gear, I thought I’d take a moment to share why we chose the BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller. There are a lot of choices you have to make when preparing for the joy of a new child in your life and the gear you choose can make things easier […]

  • Cotton Tale Designs 20.09.07

    As Julia and I patiently await the arrival of our son (Dec 12), we continue to review the things we need to do and items we need to get. Some are absolute necessities like a crib and stroller and car seat and others are things that would really make things easier like safety gates and […]

  • Thank you Craig’s List 24.08.07

    It’s a Craigslist miracle! After many attempts to find a crib that would best suit our needs, we finally found one. The Pali Lucy crib is made in Italy and is known for its high quality. The Baby Bargains Book gave the Pali cribs an A- rating, which was another reason we were attracted to […]

  • Of diapers and dads 19.08.07

    Martin Luther has a very interesting take on changing diapers. It really puts into perspective this act of drudgery for any parent. Diaper changing can be an act of holiness, even as you wipe the filth away. One thing is for certain, however, dads are not exempt from the Lord in changing diapers (according to […]

  • Baby Name Voyager 15.08.07

    …and other overwhelming tools. As any expectant parent will tell you, one of the most daunting tasks is to find a suitable name for your child. Luckily, there are plenty of books, guides and websites in addition to everybody you know willing to help you make that life determining decision. Only that just makes it […]

  • Coolest towels ever 10.08.07

    2770 We can’t add these to our registry but we definitely plan on getting them. Julia found them online and, knowing how much I love all things shark, sent me an email about them. They’re from and come in various styles – but who cares. I mean look at them – SHARKS! and you […]

  • Mystery solved 26.07.07

    So today was our formal ultrasound. 2114 You may recall that back in May, we had a little scare which prompted an informal ultrasound. Everything turned out well but it was a very rough evening. But only after spending 5 hours on an emergency room gurney. Julia was supposed to photograph a wedding the next […]

  • Baby Registries, oh my 17.07.07

    We’ve begun the process of registering at the various places one sets up a baby registry. We’ve only just begun to add items but feel free to start shopping or to make suggestions or recommendations. It can be a bit overwhelming so anybody with a little experience can probably offer an idea about items we […]

  • George Shiras 3d 16.07.07

    You see the magazine, of course. Absolutely. Have you seen the number with the colored plates of the North American Fauna? Yes. I have it in Paris. And the number containing the panorama of the volcanoes of Alaska? That was a wonder. I enjoyed very much, too, the wild animal photographs of George Shiras three. […]

  • Save 5% at Dinker and Giggles 27.05.07

    1053 The nice folks over at are offering a special coupon for my loyal readers. Right now, for a limited time, save 5% on their Mommy’s Touch All-In-One Diaper and Swaddlebees cloth diapers by using our special code. At checkout enter ‘archshrk’ for 5% off your order. Anyone may use this code–if you have […]

  • 10 Week Update 18.05.07

    Courtesy of’s weekly e-newsletter. Not that you can’t know gender until your around 22-weeks so they switch back and forth from boys to girls in their articles. 10 Weeks! How your baby’s growing: Your baby is no longer an embryo! Though she’s barely the size of a kumquat ? just an inch or so […]

  • Mommy’s Touch All-In-One Diaper 17.05.07

    Mommy’s Touch All-In-One Diaper that fits birth to potty years-no inserts required!! No pins, no scratchy Velcro, no stuffing inserts…Simple and Functional! 1047 The folks over at Dinker and Giggles offer a pretty amazing product for handling the pitfalls of infant care – dirty diapers. What they offer is a cloth diaper that is designed […]

  • World’s fastest growing baby 07.05.07

    News Alert! For immediate release. Local couple announce that baby archshrk has grown a week in only 2 days. Photos don’t lie. Ok, so maybe our baby isn’t the fastest growing baby in the world but thanks to Friday’s Red Scare, we did learn that our baby is actually 8 weeks 1 day old instead […]

  • Red Scare 06.05.07

    Friday night Julia came home early. This wasn’t a big deal since it was a slow day for her and we thought we’d go shopping. After Julia got home, she went upstairs to change her shoes before we went walking around shopping. A few minutes later, she comes down and tells me to call the […]

  • Rocker Glider with Ottoman 05.05.07

    Dare to dream. One of the first things you’ll want as a new parent is a good rocker/recliner with ottoman. And if you’re a good parent, this one. Of course you’re probably like me and can’t afford this one. Especially when you have to budget all the other items you’ll need to complete your new […]

  • 7 weeks 02.05.07

    7 weeks – you know what that means? Las Vegas Baby! That’s right, we conceived on the Grand Canyon Skywalk (just kidding honey) but that trip does correspond with our time line. So the first thing I learned about pregnancy is that seven weeks is known as menstrual weeks – as in, from your last […]

  • Test Results x2 19.04.07

    If you’ve been following along, I’m waiting for the results of my latest 2 ARE exams (to become a licensed Architect). It’s a simple Pass/Fail scenario. So I wait for a letter showing a big “P” next to the corresponding test and then jump up and down with unbridled glee (jumping optional). There are nine […]

  • Children of the Atom 30.01.07

    The name “Children of the Atom” is also often used in connection with the X-Men. But Children Of The Atom is the 1953 science fiction novel by Wilmar H. Shiras (originally published by Gnome Press), which has been credited ? though never officially confirmed ? with providing the inspiration for Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s […]

  • Happy Birthday 22.11.05

    Today I turn(ed) 33 years old. Not that much of a milestone but thought I’d share. So far, I’ve gotten a couple of Home Depot giftcards and a book that’s still in the mail. I don’t know what to expect over the thanksgiving holiday when I visit my family but I’m sure it will be […]

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