Night Crawler

There are many unspoken rules in life. Don’t interrupt people when they’re talking. Don’t ask a women if she’s pregnant when you’re not sure. Always answer the question, “Does this make me look fat?” by saying no.

There are also certain rules of etiquette that people just know. Especially when it comes to the gym.

Pick up after yourself.

Wipe down the equipment.

Use ear buds when listening to music.

Don’t count your reps out loud.

Don’t be a loud breather.

Did I mention pick up after yourself?

To me that’s the easiest and most basic of them all. When you get something out, put it away. Weights. Mats. Your ego. Whatever.

The gym I go to is at work. It’s an awesome perk we have and I feel very lucky that I have a convenient and cheap place to get a workout in. It’s also nice that they teach fitness classes in our gym, have personal trainers available, and have all the latest equipment. I’m spoiled and really have nothing to complain about.

Well, maybe one thing.

I arrive at the gym every morning around 5:30 am. Lately there has been a lot of stuff lying around or left behind. Monday I came in and found this waiting for me in the locker room.

Someone’s wet and gross dirty towel lying on the table. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve found something left behind on my, er, this table.

[Sidenote: I’ve been working out and showering here nearly every morning for the last 5 years. I always use this table. Everyone knows that’s my spot and they all stay clear of it in the mornings. Kind of a sign of respect. I’m a creature of habit that way. When I establish something that works for me, I want to keep it. If someone else sets up camp there it just throws me all off but more on that in a later post.]

Anyway, I head out to the gym and in to the fitness room to find this:

3 pieces of equipment left out on the floor of the room. Perhaps this person was so wiped out after their workout that they simply had no energy left to put away the box and Bosu ball. Or maybe they tried to jump on that tall box and fell, hurting themselves so bad that they just couldn’t clean up.

Let’s fast forward through the week. Here is what I found in the locker room on Tuesday.

Towel is still there and now with the addition of a pair of socks. There are 2 problems here.

1. There are smelly used socks on my, er, the table. Next to the spot where I will be getting dressed and ready.

2. The fact that the towel is still there means that the cleaning lady left it behind. Which then leads me to wonder what else she didn’t clean in there. Its not like this is someone’s personal towel from home and she didn’t want to disturb it. Its clearly a gym towel because it’s white and cheap.

Sticking with the locker room, here’s Wednesday.

Dirty towel on the table? Yup.

Smelly socks? Check.

Oh whats this? A new addition! A second towel and on the floor!!

Thursday:

A water bottle! Also, items are now starting to migrate to my, er, this side of the table. Not a good trend.

The towel has now moved to the bench. Was this the sloppy persons doing or the cleaning lady. And again I wonder, if the cleaning lady can move it here, why can’t she move it to the hamper?

Oh, and what’s this? A half empty (or is it half full?) glass of water on the counter.

And finally, Friday.

Everything’s back on my, uh, the table and still on my side. This is getting ridiculous.

The gym was no better. Here’s what I walked in to each day of the week. I found it like this…

And this.

Oh, and this.

Here’s another one.

After weeks of this nonsense we have given the person who leaves stuff out in the gym a nickname – The Night Crawler. Why? Because obviously this person works out at night. And only a wormy sort of person wouldn’t pick up after themselves.

Let’s take a minute to psychoanalyze this person. First of all I think Night Crawler and Sloppy Locker Room Lady (SLRL) are the same person. Looking at the size of the weights left out (15 lb. steel bell, 15 lb. dumbbells, a light barbell) Night Crawler is likely a woman (or a really weak dude….but I’m going with a chick). My guess is a single woman who has the time and availability to exercise at night. Probably a millennial who either still lives at home with her parents or has a really messy apartment. Also likely is that Night Crawler has never belonged to another gym because I doubt other gyms that are staffed 24×7 would put up with this nonsense.

Is it stereotyping too much to predict Night Crawler is named Ella or Madison or something like that?

So now what? I could write an aggressive note on the mirror (“Pick up your stuff!”). Put a nice sign up (“Please be considerate of others and put away all equipment.”). I could come up with a fun poem (“Roses are red, violets are blue. If you can get it out, you can put it away too!”). I actually thought about reaching out to security and asking them to check the security camera recordings.

Or I could just deal. I don’t deal well when it comes to others being rude and disrespectful. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves. But it’s also not worth losing my serenity over.

So, I’ll continue to ignore and get ready around the crap left in the locker room, and put away the equipment left out in the gym. And I’ll hope that Ella or Madison learns the unspoken rules of life and the gym.

Because if I should run in to her someday and ask if this outfit makes me look fat, she better say no.

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The Box

I’m going to share a secret with you. Something that’s been haunting me for 5 years.

But first, let me tell you about last week.

I spent 2 days in a leadership class. In that class we talked about our saboteurs and our guardians. A saboteur is that negative voice in your head. The one that tells me I can’t do things or I’m not good enough or I might as well not try because I’ll fail anyway. The saboteur keeps me from sharing ideas at work because they might be stupid. Or from swimming because I could drown. Or from singing karaoke because people might laugh at me.

The guardian, on the other hand, is the all knowing voice that guides you, protects you and says loving thing to you no matter what. The voice that counters the saboteur and shuts it up. My guardian is a tiger. A strong, sleek, beautiful, warm, regal tiger. I call her Tigra.

And now for that secret.

I’m afraid to jump on the 2nd level box in the gym.

It all started when I returned to work from maternity leave with Cora, back in 2013. One of my first days in the gym, my trainer told me to jump on the box. No big deal, I used to do it all the time. So I jumped. And fell off. I tried again. And hit my shin.

That was it. At that point my mind said, “We are never doing this again” and it shut down. I tried to make myself do it but to no avail. I would bend my knees as if to jump but it was like my feet were nailed down. One day my trainer and I stood there for almost an hour trying to do it, staring at that damn box and no matter what he said or did, my mind wouldn’t let my body move.

My saboteur was in full control.

You’re going to fall again.

Do you want to hurt yourself?

It’s too high.

You can’t do it.

When you miss everyone will laugh at you.

You’re too old for this.

Just go get the small box. That’s s all you can do.

And on and on.

It bothers me. I pretend it doesn’t but it does. I want to conquer that box. I hate that it has control over me. Every day I walk by that box and it mocks me. Or when I see another woman jump on it with ease it’s like a knife to my gut. The competitor in me comes out and thinks, “How come she can do it and I can’t? ”

Well the truth is, I can. I just won’t let myself.

That all ends now. I’ve decided my next goal in the gym is to beat that f*ing box. I am going to take a step bench and raise it a little higher every day until I have my confidence back.

I will succeed.

Goodbye saboteur. Tigra is winning this battle.

Life A.D.–6 Months

My baby is half a year old.

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GASP!

How could this have happened? Who is responsible for the time going by so quickly? I want names!

I guess I just have to accept it. My girls are going to keep growing up and there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.

In terms of milestones and progressions, not a whole lot has happened since last month.  Cora continues to observe everything and especially watches her big sister very closely.

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Poor thing got another ear infection last week, this time in both ears. It’s her second one in a month. One or 2 more and we’ll probably have to start talking about tubes. This is all new territory for us as Isabella didn’t have an ear infection until just this year.  Cora wasn’t showing any typical signs of it either – no ear tugging or fussiness or loss of appetite. We only figured it out because she was getting a lot of mucus in her eyes.

Yesterday she broke out in a rash. Started in her diaper area so I thought it was just diaper rash. By mid afternoon it had spread all over. Lucky for us we were already going to the doctor for her well check appointment. Turns our she is allergic to Penacillin and thus broke out in hives. Both CJ and I are allergic so it only makes sense that one of the girls would be. Poor Cora seems to be getting the lion’s share of the bad genes!

She doesn’t seem bothered by any of it though so that’s a blessing.

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Here is the report from her well check visit!

She is 13 pounds 15 ounces and 28″ tall. She’s average on height but tiny for weight. We got the go ahead to start baby foods (though she’s been on cereal for a month or so already). She’s also been approved to move to a convertible car seat whenever we’re ready. That’s what Isabella is in now. So when we move Cora up, we’ll upgrade Isabella to a booster and be DONE with the infant car seat altogether! Hip hip hurray!

(As a side note, Isabella also had her well check visit yesterday and passed with flying colors. The only thing was that we discovered she has ringworm. I had noticed a little circular shaped red spot on her chest and it wouldn’t go away with Hydrocortisone cream. Now we know why. Doctor said some times kids get it from cats. We don’t have any cats. However we do have cats that roam the neighborhood so doc suspects one of them may have pooped, got some of the feces on it’s fur or in it’s paws and then carried it in to Isabella’s sandbox. Could also have been from pre-school if another kid was infected and didn’t tell the school so who knows.)

As for me, well, I’m almost  back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I can wear most of my old clothes now which feels great.

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I had a fun discovery today. First, take a little walk with me down memory lane. Remember when I fainted at The Annex 3 years ago? Well one thing I never shared was that when I fainted, my bowels relaxed and emptied themselves. Yes, I pooped my pants. I didn’t realize it until I was in the ambulance. The EMT told me that was totally normal but still I was mortified. So when I got to the hospital, they gave me some scrubs to wear. And they were Men’s Size Large. I obviously had to wear them home and have kept them all these years because, well, they’re darn comfortable. But they’re huge on me.

When I went to the hospital to have Cora, I took them along to wear after giving birth. I was horrified to discover the day after delivery that they did not fit. They were too small. Men’s size large scrubs were too small for my post-baby body.

I took them out today and take a look!

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Too big!

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THAT felt good!

I still have another 7 pounds to go to hit my goal weight. And the kicker? I actually believe I can do it! In years past I’ve tried and failed to lose that little bit of weight and told myself it just wasn’t possible. Now I know that it is. I CAN do it and I WILL do it.

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What can I say – life is good.

 

Want to read more? Check out these!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Fat Talk | Little Things

Life A.D.–5 Months

5 months isn’t sexy. It isn’t flashy. It doesn’t get a lot of attention like it’s friends 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. But it’s actually fairly important.

There is a lot that happens between months 4-6 of a babies development yet you really don’t hear much about that middle number 5.

We have seen a big difference in Cora in the last 30 days.

She’s showing her personality more every day (here she is getting angry when she couldn’t figure out how to roll over).

She’s a bit like her mama this way…

But she soon figured it out…

Wow that was easy

She can hold her head up very steadily all on her own and she’s sitting up, with some assistance.

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She can do little baby “V-ups” (where she lifts her head, neck, shoulders and feet off the ground).

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She’s having fun sticking her tongue out.

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She’s even  grown enough to start wearing size 6 month clothes.

She’s very attentive, watching everything we do. And she wants to be included. If we’re at the table eating dinner and she’s in her swing, she will squawk until we bring her over to join us. If we have her on the floor of the playroom for exercise time while we play, she will crane her neck to see what we are doing at all times.

I find that I can’t get enough of Cora. I stare at her and think how beautiful she is. I snuggle and kiss her all the time. Making her smile is endlessly fun. I remember this phase with Isabella when she was that age too. I want Cora to progress but I don’t want her to grow up. I wish she could stay this sweet and happy forever.

Isabella has made some strides of her own in the last month. She’s now a pre-schooler!

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My biggest little one is in school now and it seems somewhat surreal. I didn’t cry when I dropped her off on the first day, and she didn’t either. She was excited and ready. But the moment was  not lost on me. Watching her standing in front of the school, waiting with the other kids to go inside, I was struck by how small she is.

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Not in terms of size but in terms of years. She seems so old to me most of the time because she’s the big kid in the house  that I forget she’s a tiny little person. She’s only 3 (she turns 4 in a couple weeks) and has a her whole life in front of her.

I have been extremely lucky to have the peace of mind knowing that my babies are in the trusted hands of CJ every day.

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Now one of those babies has been handed off to someone else. I completely trust our pre-school teachers and Isabella loves going there. Still, it can be a challenge to let go.

As for me, I’ve lost a total of 14 pounds so far and am pretty darn close to my pre-pregnancy size. I am able to get back in to many of my old clothes, and therefore give away some of the bigger sized ones. Let me tell you, that feels great.

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I didn’t get a chance to take a selfie and this is the most recent pic I have. Yes, that’s an astronaut.

I have 11 more pounds before I reach my goal weight. I originally set my goal at my pre-pregnancy weight but have since decided to shoot for losing a few pounds beyond that. Hey, why not? Losing with Weight Watchers has been surprisingly easy so it seems feasible now for me to get there.

Life for the Team Trader is good these days. Really good.  I am extremely grateful for what I have and don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. Ever.

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Catch up on more Team Trader action!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Little Things | Fat Talk

Life A.D.–4 months

Let’s start out with something guaranteed to make you smile.

THIS happens very regularly in our house these days and I LOVE it!

That laugh just cracks me up.

Cora has always been a very happy baby. She smiles easily and is just plain old content with her life, which makes me happy too.

There’s nothing better than coming home to her big gummy grin after a long day at work!

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Developmentally she is on schedule with most everything. She blows bubbles, “talks”, grabs at things, follows objects with her eyes, sits pretty well when supported and pushes the bottle away when done eating.

What she doesn’t do yet is hold her head steady, rollover or sit on her own. These are things that occur in babies anywhere between 4- 6 months so I’m not worried about it. It’s partly our fault, to be honest. We haven’t been super diligent with tummy time. I just forget to do it! Consequently Cora is not a big fan and when we do put her on her stomach, she tolerates it for only a few minutes and then starts screaming. She’ll get there though.

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She loves to play with her feet!

With rolling over, she’s trying to kick from back to front. She will get about 3/4 of the way there, get stuck and then flop back. It’s kind of funny to watch. One of these days she’s just going to flip on over and surprise us all! 

Cora had her 4 month well check appointment yesterday and did very well! Poor thing had to get 4 immunizations (one orally and 3 shots). Fortunately she was hungry so she sucked the oral one right down. She cried while the nurse was giving her the 3 shots but stopped almost as soon as I picked her up and gave her a bottle. Mental note: bring her slightly hungry from now on!

She clocked in at 12 pounds, 6.5 ounces and 25.5″ long. which means she’s grown almost 2 lbs.  and 2″ in 2 months. She’s long and skinny.

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Here she is on that same mat, just 1 week old.

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I’d say she’s grown a little bit!

By comparison, Isabella was 14 lbs 5 ounces and 26” tall at 4 months.  So Bella was a bit chunkier.

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Cora’s skin issues continue. We’ve been noticing a lot of redness and scaling in the areas where her skin rubs against itself (inside of the elbows, back of the knees, and ankles) and have tried everything to help it. Nothing really seems to work. The pediatrician said it’s eczema and recommended we take her to a dermatologist. She actually said it’s one of the worst cases of eczema she’s seen in a baby in a years.

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Poor Punk

I made an appointment and we’ll be taking her to the dermatologist next week. The cradle cap persists as well, which the doctor thinks is related to the eczema so hopefully the dermatologist can help us there too.

Another personality trait that we’ve noticed lately is that Cora knows us (CJ, Isabella and me) very well and wants nothing to do with anyone else at first . Stranger Danger! As soon as she realizes someone else is holding her, she freaks out. She does this even with her grandparents or people we see a lot. She will calm down after a while but man, those first few minutes are crazy!

Isabella is doing great and loves to make  her sister smile. She plays with her and gives her hugs and kisses. We still don’t let her hold the baby that much because Munchkin can still be rough sometimes. I can see now why younger siblings are often sturdier/tougher than the older ones!

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As for me, my weight loss progress continues along. I’ve lost a total of 9 pounds in 8 weeks.

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It’s slow but steady progress. I am really liking the Weight Watchers plan and the meetings. Both help me stay accountable and give me tools for success.

I’ve also changed up my workouts and began training with a friend again. We worked out together last year until I found out I was pregnant and then we put it on hold. Well we’ve picked up again. It’s only been a week so far but I think it’s just what I need to shake up my routine. Though I was working out every day before, I was getting kind of complacent and not pushing myself as hard as I could be. The change must be working because I lost 3 lbs. just this week!

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Time is flying by way too fast. Isabella starts pre-school next month, then she’ll be 4 and next thing you know, Cora will be 1 year! Yikes! I’m tryimg to hold on to every moment while I can and not take anything for granted!