Month: May 2009

Working it out

 - by Eric

As you all probably know already, I don’t consider myself to be a very vain person. I don’t want to look like a bum, but at the same time I don’t really care about the brand of clothes I wear. I ride a scooter that gets me from A to B, and our family car is a solid but otherwise inconspicuous Toyota Corolla. We focus on efficiency and functionality in our family, not on what is cool or hip.

So it may surprise you that I signed up for a membership at Gold’s Gym. I can appreciate that some people use the gym to get in shape and stay healthy. I think it is great, but I’ve usually been one for natural activity as opposed to pumping iron. But after getting married, my participation in sports and such dropped as my weight started to go right on up. I’m not really overweight for my height, but I went from the lower end of a healthy weight to the edge of being at an unhealthy weight. Add on top of all this the fact that Omniture is covering my monthly membership fee, and I really had a good reason to sign up. My main motivation in this case was to play a lot more racquetball, go swimming, and just keep up my personal regimen to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What’s even better is that I have two co-workers who go to the gym with me after our shifts end. Exercise partners are a great motivation, and it’s been really good for me to get good exercise in every weeknight.

That’s the good side of things. On the other hand, the feeling I get around many of the staff and trainers is an obsession to look good and be stronger than everybody else. It goes into building personal pride and ego in something so superficial as body image. Becoming healthy and looking good go hand in hand to a certain degree, but when it becomes an obsession to look good, it’s no good anymore.

Take for example my free session with a personal trainer that came with signing the contract. I decided to try it out because it’s free (and free is the Hansen family’s favorite four-letter word), even though I knew they were going to try and sell me personal training sessions. I walk into the gym, and the trainer I am to meet with starts sizing me up (it’s not hard to see). We start talking about goals and what I hope to be doing with my gym membership, and during the course of our conversation we discussed how I worked the Chinese shift at Omniture and so I wanted to work out after my shift, late at night. He was somewhat taken of guard that I spoke Mandarin (he was of Chinese decent), and it somehow became his mission then to establish his “superiority” over me. He proceeded to tell me how my plans to get healthy (play racquetball, balance some cardio with regular lifting) was all wrong. He asserted that cardiovascular workouts don’t burn fat, but muscle. Okay Mr. Trainer, I can respect that you know more about working out than I do, it’s your job. But Advanced Biology in High School taught me enough to know that cardiovascular exercises do in fact burn fat. I can believe they might burn muscle, too, but really? Really, Mr. Trainer? Don’t over-exaggerate how much better your plan is over mine. You start to lose credibility then.

So we started working out, and he pushed me harder than I had done in a long, long time. That was great, because I knew I needed to jump into the deep end of the pool and start going. We did Bench presses, suicides, bear crawls, push-ups, supine dumbbell presses. By the end, I was thoroughly pooped, but in a good sort of way. However, during this whole time, he would speak down to me as if I had no idea what I was talking about, especially when we would do certain types of exercises. Again, Mr. Trainer, I concede the point that you are more experienced and knowledgeable about working out. But I took strength training classes in high school and college, and while it wasn’t anything intense, I did in fact learn about exercising. Even if I did things wrong, it is no excuse to treat me with disrespect. I soon discerned how he was trying to put me down in order to build himself up and “help” me realize how much I “needed” his help and advice…all for a lovely $120 a month. Please. This goes right back to this idea and obsession these (not all, mind you) people were so caught up in being “better” than the other guy. That’s why you see the area manager for Gold’s Gym driving a big fat hummer around. Clearly they are trying to compensate for something else that is lacking ;)

In the end, I am still having a great experience because (as you may have already guessed) I did not sign up with that personal trainer. Instead, I’m consistently working out with coworkers so we can encourage each other. And the racquetball is really fun!

Okay, so this post was probably more than any of you really care to know about, but the main take-away from this story is to make sure your priorities are correctly aligned.


 - by Brittny

Sorry this is about 4 months late. I’d been meaning to add some video to this post but kept not getting around to it. I finally went to add it tonight, and I can’t find the video. So, sorry for a super belated back-dated post without any video to compensate for my tardiness.

Sam had his two month check up at the beginning of May and everything looks good! He weighed 12lbs 5oz (70th percentile for his age) and was 24 inches long (90th percentile for his age). We’re still not sure where we got this huge kid from, but we sure love him! The doctor also confirmed that we weren’t insane and that it was totally possible that Sam is in fact teething! He drools a TON and loves to chew on things and has had some fits of crankiness that nothing else will explain. Of course, I’m pretty sure that now that we’ve blown the whistle on this he’ll end up being like me and not get any teeth until he’s two :P

Sam also got his first round of immunizations at that check up. I knew I couldn’t be in the room while he got them (since I would pass out when I saw the needles…) but luckily Eric was able to be there for that part of the check up. I can’t even tell you how heart wrenching it was though when I heard Sam scream out from the pain. I never thought I’d be an overprotective mom… but apparently I was very wrong. I’ve found myself getting super defensive of Sam even when people are just joking about him. Things like my little brother joking that he was going to steal him, of course it was a joke, but my insides still just turned hearing it. Who knew I could love this kid so much?

Since Sam’s check up he’s still been growing like crazy. He’s started to really get a personality which has just been a blast. He can roll over, but he doesn’t seem to have too much interest in rolling. What he does have an interest in is scooting. I’ll have to post a video of it sometime because it’s pretty funny to watch. If I lay him down on his stomach he just kicks his legs and moves like an inchworm. He’s getting pretty good at it too! It’s really funny when I lay him down for a diaper change, but then leave the room to grab something. When I come back he is almost invariably turned 90 degrees from how I had left him!

Sam’s other fun trick lately is that he likes to talk. Of course, it’s just babbling and none of the words make sense, but he loves hearing his little voice. Of course, when he’s mad, he lets us know that too! He doesn’t cry very much, but he definitely yells a lot when he gets upset. Unfortunately, I think it’s one of the funniest things in the world to listen to him yell at us because he really does sound like he’s listing off his grievances. So while he’s upset, I sometimes will laugh at him (don’t worry, I laugh at him while trying to fix whatever he might be mad about, he’s just so dang cute!)

We’ve also discovered that our baby is a social butterfly. He LOVES being with people. He likes watching people and playing with people, and he’s not yet real particular about who he’s with. Although, he does have a decided preference for his dad. Nothing seems to make him happier than cuddling with Eric. When he’s really upset I can try all of my tricks – bouncing, singing, feeding him, cuddling etc. – to no avail. But as soon as Eric takes him he just sorta snuggles into his chest and calms down. The funny thing is then he has these looks then that are like “Dad, can you believe what mom was doing to me? Oh, I’m so glad I’m safe now. Dad will protect me.” It frustrates me, and makes me laugh at the same time. I’m really glad that he will calm down for Eric, and I *love* watching the two of them together, but it is frustrating to try every trick in the book… only to have him calm down instantly for his dad. Oh well, at some point he’ll figure out that I’m where the food comes from :P

We’ve also found out that Sam loves the water. He has such a blast whenever we put him in the bathtub. We got to take him swimming while we were in California last week and he thought that was about the best thing that had ever happened to him. I wish I had some pictures to throw in here, but we forgot, oops!

First Mother’s Day

 - by Brittny

I know this is really late, but I still wanted to write a post about my first Mother’s Day as a mom. I decided to back-date it so that it still shows up nice and chronologically. If that bothers you… sorry, but you might want to get used to it. I have 7 drafts in queue that will all be backdated so that our blog doesn’t just become a mess of past entries posted in the present.

Anyways, back to Mother’s Day… It was great! Eric took Sam for all of church – ok, so that’s not that unusual, Sam is still a daddy’s boy :P – but it was still really nice to be able to just go and enjoy Relief Society and all of the meetings. Then we went out to Eric’s brother Mike’s house for a family dinner. I made a dessert for everyone that turned out really yummy, which always makes me feel good since I’m not exactly the world’s greatest chef. It was just a nice relaxing day.

There were two major highs that day. One – Sam slept through the night the night before. When I woke up I’d thought Eric must have just taken him as a nice start for Mother’s Day… but nope! Slept through the whole night (you can read about why that was actually a problem in my family’s blog here. Also, Eric bought me a very thoughtful Mother’s Day gift…
Fisher Price Mobile!

A Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Mobile!! Now before any of you think I’m being facetious, it really was an awesome gift. See Samuel had surprisingly fallen in love with his little crank up mobile (as stupid as it was, it just had three beige bears and had a tinny version of Rock-a-bye baby). However, it would only last for 3 minutes per crank… and I had literally developed callouses on my hands from cranking the stupid thing so often. Here’s a video of how excited he got with it:

Ok so the video more shows how enthralled Sam is with his dad, but you can hear and see his lame mobile, and it’s still a cute video :)

Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more thrilled than I was with this new mobile that runs for 10 minutes at a time and doesn’t require cranking. It was like giving me dozens of 10 minute breaks that I have been able to use over the past several weeks :)

However, the real gift came later that week. On Tuesday I had a REALLY rough night with Samuel, I couldn’t get him to sleep regardless of what I did, and he was very upset. Since Eric was working until almost 2am I was pretty worn out when he came home. It didn’t get any better when Sam got up early the next morning and I was trying to take care of him and catch up on housework. When Eric saw how exhausted I was he called in for a day off work and stayed home to take care of me. It was the most wonderful thing I think he could have done. He took Sam for the entire day and let me get all the dishes done, take a nap, catch up on work, take a nice long bubble bath and just generally relax the entire day. He even went and got Five Guys Burgers for us (something he’d been meaning for me to try for awhile – really good stuff :) It was just a fabulously relaxing day. I am so blessed to have such a selfless husband who would be willing to sacrifice one of his days off to take care of me. Thank you Eric! You’re the best!!

Toilet Troubles!

 - by Eric

So…we had an interesting experience this weekend. Our toilet in our bathroom has never been particularly good at doing its job, that is, actually flushing things down the drain.

But if you jiggled the handle just right and/or flushed it a couple times, you usually could get enough pressure to help everything move along. Until last night, that is.

After taking the plunger and other various devices to the commode, we gave in and called the plumber, and this is what he did:

  1. First he tried using his tools to break up any clogs he could find. Since that didn’t work, he said he needed to remove the toilet!
  2. He tried going at it while it sat on our lawn:
  3. But when that didn’t work, he hooked up a hose to our washing machine spigot to try and spray water through the pipes and clear it out:
  4. But alas, it was not to be. The toilet met its fate due to minerals in the hard water (thanks Utah water system!) building up to form a solid rock in the tubes that could not be removed:

So it was a very interesting day, overall! The toilet was replaced the next day, but I had flashbacks of my time in Taiwan and China when I saw the hole in the floor!