Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weird bumps on my legs!

After getting home from the gym last night, I was stretching out my calves. I was bragging (if you ask my wife) that they were pretty buff.

My 12 year old walked over and said, "Dad, they might be, but you've got weird bumps on them.".

I had to explain that those were muscles. He said, "Oh, I better do my soccer exercises." and started doing push ups and sit ups.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Overheard while watching a video with the kids...

We watched "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" last night. At some point someone asks the question, "Who do you think you are, Braveheart?"

My oldest asked who Braveheart was, and my seven year old responded, "He's from the Care Bears. He was the lion!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jason's great escape

Jason wouldn't sit still in primary, so the wife and I took him with us to our class. He was okay, a little noisy at times.

Then we split up for Relief Society and Priesthood meetings. I chose a seat by the door, realizing Jason might act up. Our Elder's Quorum meets on the stage, and we have some risers in there someone made for a primary program. Jason's first move was to try and climb those. They were upright, and the studs made an enticing ladder.

I grabbed him, and got him to sit still using one of the finest traditions of parenthood, a food bribe.

He was content to eat M&Ms for awhile, but then made a quick escape by sliding down the stairs. Here is a nice after picture (I couldn't get my camera out quick enough for his head first slide down the stairs. It was very comando-ey.)

He ended up in his old nursery class coloring on a table for the last 5 minutes of church. (He was on the table coloring, not drawing on the actual table.)

The important thing is we survived.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snow, it must be spring...

Obviously it is officially spring here in Utah. Here is a photo, sorry poor quality, out the office window of our snowstorm.

Luckily if you don't like the weather in Utah you usually only have to wait 15 minutes!

Fun with my watch

So my watchband wouldn't shut right this morning, and it was a bit loose anyway, so I thought I would take it apart. (Isn't that what a man is supposed to do when something doesn't work? You take it apart and pray you can reassemble it correctly, or at least so it works.).

I stared by removing two links. This made it snug on my wrist. I accomplished this with a push pin, paperclip, and a cheap (a swag item I picked up somewhere) multi-tool. I felt so much like MacGyver. Now the watch fits so well I'm not sure it's right. I have worn it a little loose over the past few years, and since I've been losing weight it could twirl all the way around my wrist.

With that done, I decided to see what was wrong with the clasp. I took it off of the band and saw one of the most disgusting sights I have seen in a long time. It appears that I have been carrying primordial ooze around on my arm.

Not wanting to catch malaria, I busted out the Clorox wipes and went to town. I'll spare you the most graphic parts, but here is a picture of the aftermath on the wipes. You'll all be happy to know that my watch is no longer contagious and now fits correctly. I will have to answer to the Department of Health, but promise to perform regular maintenance to prevent future development of WMDs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Current events

I've been reading through my blog, and realized that I don't talk about much besides the gym, which is okay. Then I thought about the reason, and realized my wife posts all the scoops on her blog (link opens in a new window).

Last night we went and had our follow up appointment at the U. Jason has officially been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. We are now seeing if there are any other programs that can help him, the U gave us some recommendation. I'll keep you posted.

If you want info on the family. Check out my wife's blog.

Anyway, I'm still recovering from my Saturday workout. We did a heavy leg workout, and my legs still hurt!

Friday, March 18, 2011

12 Years Ago Today

12 years ago, my oldest was born. I remember getting to the hospital, my wife having Pitocin, and finally asking for an epidural. By the time they administered it, my wife was fully dilated, and we were kind of worried that the doctor wouldn't make it in before the baby came.

Duncan was born, and he sure was handsome (I say that realizing that all baby's are pretty ugly when they are born, but I'm biased in his favor.)

Duncan tormented me the early years of his life. My wife would have to work, and while she was gone, there was nothing I could do to settle him down. I usually took him for a walk, or to my mother's house so she, and some of my siblings could share in my misery. Sometimes I took him for a walk in the stroller in my mother's house.

He grew out of that pretty quickly, and has interests in lots of things. He loves (a little too much) playing video games, he has fun camping, recently completed hunter's safety, plays in the orchestra, plays soccer, and is just a great kid.

I want you to know how proud I am of you Duncan. You are doing well in school and life. Keep it up!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Trial of the Stairs

Okay, so for lunch I decided to get off my rear-end and walk about. I then had the most brilliant idea, I work on the 5th floor of a building, and have access to lots of stairs! I should walk them!

Being on the top floor, I had a nice walk down, and when you consider the parking garage floors, I went down nine stories. Each story has two flights of stairs between them. I quickly made it to the bottom, and turned around. I handled the first 12 flights pretty well, but started breathing pretty hard around the second floor.

Not wanting anyone to walk in on me in the stairwell panting, I pressed on. Around the 14th flight, my pace started to slow down. I made it to the 5th floor, but decided once up was enough for today. After 18 flights of stairs there was not too much spring in my step. I guess that means I would make a horrible New Yorker (because you know they all live on the 7th floor of a a walk up like in the movies.)

There are two sets of doors out of the stairwells, so I stood in between them and recovered, so as not to alarm the receptionist. I didn't want anyone calling the paramedics because they thought I was having a stroke.

I think I'll keep doing that, it was a really good aerobic workout, but I probably wont be able to make two trips for some time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Ides of March

Yesterday was a long day! We had to have our youngest up to the hospital at 6 a.m. for some dental work. The dentist needed to put him under for her safety (he would barely sit still for her to look in his mouth, let alone drill and put in fillings.) We took the opportunity to have a sedated hearing test done on him at the same time.

Before we got started, they asked if we would like to give him some Versed to take away any anxiety and make it easier for the Anesthesiologist. We thought that was a good idea, so they gave him some, and he immediately calmed down, and sat on his mother's lap stoned.

The Anesthesiologist did something that hasn't happened before. He let us go back into the operating room with him while our youngest was going to "sleep". If I'd have known that we could go back, I would have opted out of the Versed.

After we finally got to the waiting room, around 7:30, we were in for the long haul. They called my wife back to post op around 9:45, and let me go back a little after 10. He slept until 11:45, and we didn't get out of the hospital until noon.

The sedated hearing tests revealed what we already assumed. He has a mild to moderate hearing loss in his right ear. The only tones his right ear hears normally are in the mid range, low and high tones are muted to him. He had eight cavities that had to be filled, including one crown, so he has a silver tooth.

We then had to run some chores, help kids with homework, and general nuttiness until the start of our oldest's Orchestra performance. It was pretty cool, they had five elementary schools and a jr. high orchestras there. It was about 45 minutes, but they sounded great. I'm stoked that my oldest is going to continue in Orchestra next year.

By this time I was exhausted, but I still had to hit the gym. I went in for a 30 minute workout that prodded buttock, but I felt really good after.

Maybe that is really why Julius Caesar should "beware the Ides of March". It is a busy day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm so awesome

Alright, I had to take a moment and pat myself on the back. I got up this morning, and let my wife sleep in, almost til noon. In the meantime, I cleaned our bedroom, took care of the kids, and cooked brunch.

Man I'm good!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Duncan's big day

Well, we had a lot going on for Duncan tonight.

First he received his Tenderfoot rank in the Boy Scouts. Then he had to go to an interview with the Bishop to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He was given homework from the Bishop, so we will be doing some reading in the Doctrine and Covenants about the oath and covenant of the Priesthood. I have to download the pictures, then I'll get some posted.

On another note, our Scout Master received a reward from the national headquarters. He is super dedicated, and really gets the kids through the program. He is kind of funny looking (I can say that because he is also my cousin.) He didn't have any sons, so I think he is compensating by being the dad of every young man in our neighborhood. Congratulations Gary, you deserve it.

With all the time at the church tonight, we couldn't get to the gym. I decided I would run on the treadmill instead. Well, I haven't been on it for awhile, and since then Jason had taken a drink and poured it on the walking belt. This acted as a lovely glue to keep the treadmill from running. I "fixed" it by loosing the tension on the belt. As I tightened the belt back up, I couldn't get the tension right. So as I was attempting to get it right today, I snapped the adjusting bolt off. That means that tomorrow I get to tear it apart, drill out a bolt, and see if I can fix it.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Long Dark Lunch Time of the Soul

Alright, I might have "borrowed" the title of this post from an author (unfortunately he is deceased, because I loved his work.)

So I've been working on getting a new website up for work, and most of my work is done. Now I have to wait for everyone to review it so we can take the site live. This will be exciting, as my children, and in-laws are some of the models for our photography. (I know my in-laws are really excited about this.)

As an aside, because of the photo shoot for the website my oldest daughter has now appeared in some of our print publications as well, and let me tell you how proud she is of that.

Anyway, since most of my work is done, and I'm stuck doing the little busy work things I've put off, it has been a long Tuesday, and it is only lunch time.

Since there isn't much new going on, I thought I'd tell you about the gym last night. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are cardio nights. When I think cardio, I think running or biking. Our sadistic trainer, Jason Muir, has different ideas.

We started off doing Bosu Touch and Reaches. You stood on the Bosu's platform, and with dumbbells in hand, reached down to the platform, and then pressed up above your head. These suck. Mainly because you are standing on half a ball. I had a much easier time getting on and balancing than my lovely wife (sorry Mel it's true), thanks to my years of skateboarding. Getting on a Bosu feels like getting ready to drop in on a half-pipe. You put your foot on one side, take a big breath to gather your courage, then throw the other foot on, and put your weight down.

We then moved on to doing push ups with your hands on medicine balls. This wasn't the worst, it was just a really deep push up.

After that we moved onto curls, upright rows, and triceps kick backs. These were all done at a light weight as fast as we could do them. Instead of dumbbells we used the exercise bands.

Then pikes with your knees on an exercise ball.

That was the warm up.

Working out with Jason is kind of like Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV. We have not yet chopped wood, but there are a couple of 20 pound sledge hammers in the gym. We now moved into the part of the workout that was designed to kick our buts.

Jason has four punching bags, they weigh between 50 and 75 pounds, and are about 3 feet long. Jason had us squat down, pick up one end of the punching bag, and flip it end over end. We would do this down an approximately 30 foot section of the gym, then back to the start, then down and back again. My quadriceps were burning. I really had to focus on form, so I didn't hurt my back.

Once we were done with that, Jason wanted us to teach our bodies to recover under pressure, so he didn't want us to take a break. We went right into lunges with a medicine ball on a rope (picture the old soap on a rope, but instead of lovely scented soap, there is an 8 pound medicine ball.) The rope loop that comes out of the medicine ball is about 1.5 feet long, and you hold onto the rope. As you lunge, the ball moves around, and forces your body to balance. This was especially horrible, because my legs were still very tired from the squats. Luckily this doesn't focus on all the same muscles as the squats.

Then we moved over to the actual punching bags (not the ones on the floor for flipping.) Here we had to throw combination kicks. We would throw a thrust kick with our front leg, followed by a roundhouse with the back leg. I like doing this, and it does get your blood pumping. The downside is this does use the leg muscles we had just tortured.

We finally moved into the last exercise, which focused on our abs. Using a little wheel with handles, we would sit on our knees, extend out as far as we could, then pull ourselves back in with our abs.

Now I said finally, but as with shampoo, we then repeated the whole workout two more times.

On top of that our trainer challenged us to do 500 sit ups this week, outside of class. Now it has been a long time since I did sit ups. We do a lot of crunches and leg lifts, as well as some different ab workouts in class, but not sit ups. He wanted us to do sit ups to help train the muscle groups in the core to work together, not to work on our abs. So after the kids were in bed, and my wife was showering I went into our living room and decided I would try to knock out 100 sit ups. I was surprised when I did 20 without stopping. I had to take a break every 20-30, but I felt great that I could do it.

The other good news is my back has not been hurting. I have focused on good form in everything I do, done my PT exercises, and occasionally ice it. It seems to be getting better.

Well, lunch is over and I need to get back to being productive. Have a happy Tuesday, and let's hope Wednesday isn't as slow!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Someone kicked in the door!

I had sent my children to clean their rooms at about 11:00 this morning. All of the sudden my 10 year old runs upstairs yelling, "Dad, dad!" When I got her calm enough to tell me what was wrong she said:
"I was downstairs cleaning, and I heard a noise. It sounded just like someone had kicked in the back door and was coming in!"

As I hadn't heard anything, I told her she was probably okay. The good news is that no one has in fact kicked in our door.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jason says pizza!!!!

We stopped by my in-laws house tonight, and the only people there were my brother-in-law and his children. He had bought a pizza, and as we talked with my niece and nephew, Jason climbed up on a chair, looked at the pizza and said, "Pizza" three times. Of course we couldn't get him to perform again right then, as he was eating pizza.

We decided to stop and get the girls some pizza on the way home, and Mel decided she would tempt the boy again and see what happened. The real magic happens at about 42 seconds (I know one word isn't magic for most, but for a young, autistic child it's pretty good to get him to repeat anything.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Physical Therapy

As part of my back pain battle, I went to physical therapy (PT) yesterday. This is my first experience with PT. The therapist did many of the same tests on my that the sports med Doc did. After she finished she asked me, "Do you consider yourself extremely flexible?" I answered in the affirmative, because even though I have gained weight, I can still reach about 10 inches past my toes.

I thought it was a weird question, but the therapist just looked at me and said, "I agree. That's unusual for guys with a lot of muscle mass." That made me laugh. So the physical therapist wants me to start on for simple exercises. They are all about strengthening my transverses and lats. They are great, one makes me look like a panting dog, while one appears like I'm just laying there. I have to do them twice a day, and will go back and get more exercises in a few weeks. The therapist also gave me a great stretch for my hip muscles. I only have to do that once a day (I might choose to do it more.)

Anyway, I'm doing well, and will continue with the strengthening of my core.

Hopefully I'll have something more fun to post about soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm "back" in action

Okay, forgive the stupid pun, but I couldn't resist.

As you know last week I was experiencing back problems, and after sitting in my desk chair for 9 hours on Thursday, and feeling the pain, I did something I thought I would never do. I called a chiropractor. Now I have nothing against chiropractors, but I've always been skeptical. I happen to know someone who runs an office for a chiropractor, so I called and set up an appointment. Below is how my adventure went.

My wife had to drop me off, and go pick up our son. So I went in and talked with the chiropractor, and had some x-rays taken. Then they had me lay on a table, and hooked up the electro-stimulus machine (I'm not sure what it is really called.) I laid on the table for 20 minutes while my back muscles were stimulated, with an ice sheet on my back. I'm not sure that ice sheet sufficiently describes the experience. My back felt as if the chiropractor was Darth Vader, and I was Han Solo, and they were trying to freeze me in carbonite. The main difference was the Empire was in a recession, so they didn't have a full-body freezer and had to do it a bit at a time.

My wife showed up again, as they asked me to stand up and move to the next room. I felt really good, so I pushed up off the table, and quickly laid back down. They had somehow frozen my back into the most painful position it could be in. It took me about 5 minutes to walk 20 feet, and I was miserable. I got on an upright device, and they pivoted me down until I was horizontal. The chiropractor had my wife look at the heels of my feet as I lay there. There were not level, they were about 1.5 inches out of level, and the chiropractor told her that was one of the reasons my back hurt. He did some work on me, and brought them back into level. (I hope my use of carpentry terms makes sense, it's the only way I can describe it.)

He raised me up, and I thought I was done, but my back still hurt. He had me sit in a chair, and popped, I mean aligned my neck. That felt great, but again not much for my back. He had me stand up, and move to another room where the real magic would take place. I laid down, on my side this time, and my back was aligned. By this I mean that a 200 pound man climbed up on me, and focused all of his weight and strength on one of my arms, and one of my legs. It was great! He used the shampoo technique, it was align, reverse, repeat. My back felt so much better. I was a little bit tender still, but it was livable. I went back in the next day, and had the same experience, but this time the ice sheet didn't freeze me in pain.

Well, long-story short, I am down up and around, and have just a little tenderness in my back. I went to the gym last night for the first time since the chiropractor. My back was a little sore after, but I iced it, and it feels fine this morning.

As for how the gym is going, my wife wanted me to post this picture to show my progress. The picture on the left is me in 2006, the first day of work in a new office (I found it on our corporate intranet yesterday,) the picture on the right is a self portrait from yesterday. In between these two pictures I put on about 15 pounds, so in the second picture I'm only about five pounds lighter than the first picture. I think that I've slimmed down noticeably, but then again I'm biased!