One Day At A Time…Living With MS.


Well..things have been a little crazy around here lately when it comes to Mike’s health.  In the last few months, Mike started to get some crazy symptoms with his MS (phantom smells, numbness on left side, shakiness of the left side) and it got to the point where he had to do a steroid treatment for the third time now in September.  Rewind to the last MS attack about a year and half ago, Mike ended up switching from Copaxone to Techfidera in hopes that this wouldn’t happen again or at least slow the symptoms down, but it happened again. 😦

There is some hope though.  Mike was on the message boards for the National MS Society (in the forums) when he was preparing for his Bike MS race in Albuquerque and reading a bunch of links and articles people were sharing. There were several articles on stem cell transplants, in which they pretty much take out your old immune system and replace it with a new one using chemotherapy (and of course stem cells).  Since MS is an immune deficiency, this seems pretty hopeful.  It’s such a new study that it hasn’t been accepted across the United States yet, but some doctors have been taking on this study.  Mike examined this method a little bit more online and came across Northwestern University in Chicago, the only place in the United States attempting this treatment at this time.


So we applied for it.  And…we got a phone call about three weeks ago from the nurse saying that they are interested in evaluating Mike.  I feel like this is definitely a hopeful thing because I have understood people have been rejected from their first application.  I understand right now after sending them his MRI results along with all of our insurance and health information, that they should be contacting him soon to set up the appointment.

Fingers crossed. And waiting. One day at a time.


There are so many things that can happen right now.  Mike could get in and would be treated within the next year or two and be cured.  Mike could get in and would be treated within the next year and not be cured.  Mike could not get in and we continue to see when his symptoms reappear and so on.  Not to mention, the whole financial part of it too.  Work may be on the horizon for me and that will change the whole dynamic of things at home and with Olivia. Scary but exciting stuff.

Here are a list of websites about this procedure.  I will keep you posted on any news from Northwestern.  It is crazy to think that a year from now things could be VERY different.

Thank you for all of the support!

Joker Duathlon 2014


My “fan” playing with her car while I was out racing….

It has been a while since I have updated our races around here on the blog.  Unfortunately I haven’t raced a lot since we are down to one paycheck right now while I stay home with Olivia.  Only one of us can race at a time, so I usually push Mike to race!

But, I was so excited to do my first duathlon back in April! Last year Mike signed up for the Joker Duathlon knowing that Olivia’s due date was the same weekend.  We figured she wouldn’t be on time….boy were we wrong! I started going into labor that morning.  Mike and I were trying to decide whether or not he should just go since we knew it would be a while, but we didn’t want to chance it.

Now a year later….in honor of Olivia…mom had to give it a try!


Considering I am still twenty pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight, I knew I would have some difficulty, but I really had a lot of fun.  This was taken at the starting line at Holloman Air Force Base.  I was so nervous! I had never done a duathlon before.


And we were off.  The first run was an 8k and we took a path out to a cone and turned around.  I actually liked how flat it was and was holding a pretty steady pace at around 9 minutes per mile. I didn’t want to overdo it because I knew the bike was coming up.


Transitioning was a little hard for me because I couldn’t get my shoes on and I was worrying about Olivia (which I shouldn’t have!).  But I was soon off and on an awesome bike route of 18 miles.  We went around the super nice roads of the base and then turned around and came back the same way we came so I could see who my competition was ahead of me.


The road was a little windy going out and I was super hesitant about going fast.  I made it my goal to do the bike in under an hour.  I really wanted to beat all of the girls!


I passed a lot of people on the way out.  I give Mike the credit of coaching me on how to TT even without a TT bike.  I was in the middle of the pack on running but was catching up to some of the faster runners on a bike.  By the end, I was around two girls that I knew I had to get on the run.  All three of us came back on the bike at the same time.

I took off running for the next 5k making sure to watch the girls.  We all kept a pretty similar pace out and then made the turn around.  I was able to pass one girl, but the other one was pretty fast and was gaining speed.


I made it to the finish line….seconds…behind the girl and got 2nd place because of that!  I was really happy with my effort and glad I was able to do it.  I also was able to bike in just under an hour. I definitely will race this again!  It was awesome!

17 Months!


Stats: Around 22 pounds. I know this because she likes to stand on the scale in the bathroom like it’s a stage.  Doctor’s visit next month! She is a tall girl.

Favorites: She loves to dance, and by dance I mean she likes to stand stiff legged and rock back and forth or twirl in a circle a million times.  She loves her rings that stack. She is really into stacking right now (dad taught her).  She loves to go out front and play with the hose and helps me to pick up weeds.  She loves to go “bye bye” and waits at the door for me when I say it. When it’s bath time, she starts climbing the stairs knowing right where to go.


Lifesavers for Mom and Dad: Nothing’s changed with Bubble Guppies..she is such a huge fan (always says “Bubble?” asking for me to put it on).  I also love this age because she is a lot more independent with play and can spend a few hours in the play room playing with her toys while I do chores and take care of things around the house.  I am also signing up for a gym with a day care which will be very nice!

Dislikes: Being on the other side of the baby gate, being left alone in the nursery at church (we will definitely work on this!), cutting her nails

Facts: She definitely understands a whole lot more. I can say things to her and she is putting two and two together.  I’ll tell her that it’s time to say prayer and she will say “Amen” or if I ask where is mom’s ears, she will look at my ears instead of hers. She knows the different types of foods she is eating if I ask her to point at her peas or her turkey.  I’ll ask her to go get a specific toy from the other room and she will bring it back. I am excited to have her go to nursery and to start day care at the gym so she can learn to be a little more independent in public.


Sleep Habits:She is hit or miss still.  She has a night or two of sleeping through the night but the other nights she wakes up at 11 and 2 screaming her head off and I sit with her until she goes back to sleep.  She goes to bed around 8 and gets up about 7.  When it’s time to go to bed, she says “Night Night” and tries to say “Sleepy Sleep”.

Doctors Visits:  None this month.


Eating Habits: She eats more in the morning than the evening. She loves to eat out.  Aunt Jen and Grandpa came to visit and she was loving herself some mexican food.  She was gobbling up the beans and meat.  No vegetarian here.

Milestones: More talking, more understanding, can climb DOWN stairs now (she was afraid before), loves to run and loves shoes that make her run, asking and pointing to what she wants, asks for mom and dad, called my dad “Papa”, loves to use the words: flower, ball, Jesus, shoes, socks, ears, milk, night-night, star, moon, bubble, etc..

Looking Forward To: Not being sad when I leave her in nursery or day care!  FREEDOM!

16 Months!


Stats: Around 21-22 pounds and 30 inches.  For the amount of food she eats, she still hasn’t gained weight since her twelve month check up.  The running around is burning it off!

Favorites: She loves her books!  She really likes this nursery rhyme book of hers that has all sorts of pictures.  She loves to pull her wagon around the house and use her shopping cart to carry things.  She still LOVES her Bubble Guppies! She also loves being outside and is so well behaved when we are outdoors.


Lifesavers for Mom and Dad: Being able to watch Bubble Guppies on our road trips has been awesome.  She is a great traveler and likes to play with cars in her car seat too.  I love her library toddler classes she has been going to and our little park groups. It helps me to be around other moms and get some insight on the parent world.

Dislikes: Being told no.  She curls her lips and screams and then tries it again.  She doesn’t like the baby gates either and throws a fit when we go on the other side of it.  Also, sleeping through the night.  She is still fighting it.  At least she goes back to sleep, but she still wakes up a few times.

Facts: She is a human tornado.  I was absolutely EXHAUSTED last week for having to chase her around.  I finally gave up and packed up all of our mountain bike and triathlon trophies until she is older because she keeps taking things off our shelves. She is fond of baths again because she can play more with toys and likes the water (she hated them for a while).  She loves to climb on things and go up stairs and try to go down the slide on her own at the playground.  She loves to sing and talk a lot.  I still can’t make out some of her jabbering, but she is trying!


Sleep Habits: About two nights a week she will sleep through the night.  The rest of the time consists of waking a few times and I just sit there on my IPAD until she goes back to sleep.  She goes to bed around 8 and gets up about 7.  It’s getting a little better. Baby steps.

Doctors Visits:  None this month.  Thank goodness.


Eating Habits: She loves her milk! She squeals “NOM” every time I pull it out and yells it out when we see milk at the grocery store.  She likes bananas, pancakes, mandarin oranges, chicken, turkey, strawberries, tortillas, spaghetti, mixed vegetables…she ate a whole taco all by herself (cut up of course).  She loves food and especially likes to steal food from her dad.

Milestones: More talking! She started saying STAR, FLOWER, BUBBLE GUPPY, BIRD and some other oldies.  She loves to sing in the back seat while we are driving.  She loves to pretend to cook at her oven and goes to the fridge and wants ice to put in her pots and pans.  She started climbing up on more things, which means she is getting braver.

Looking Forward To: Teaching her all the preschool things like colors and numbers.  I hear at 18 months they start talking a lot.  That will be fun!


15 Months!


Stats: 21 pounds and 30 inches.  Her percentile for her head went from 90 to 75 percent. Hehe.  She hasn’t gained anything from her 12 month appointment, but the doctor said that is typical for a toddler who is now running around like a psycho…and she is.

Favorites: Monks…I’ve been trying to ween her off him and only give him to her for emergencies and sleeping.  We are working on having her quit him slowly.  She LOVES anything with wheels.  She likes to push the stroller around in nursery and plays with cars a lot.  She loves to play with dad.  They had a lot of bonding on our beach trip and now she prefers him more than me when it comes to play time!


Lifesavers for Mom and Dad: The fact that she is pretty good playing on her own has been awesome.  I also love our little classes we go to..they keep her busy and entertained.

Dislikes:  Today we found out it was the doctor…she put up a good fight.  Also, she hates people dressed up as characters…but do you blame her??

Facts: She LOVES the ocean! She would have walked right in and had no fear of the waves at all.  She loved building sand castles with dad and grandpa.  Her new thing this week is to walk in the room and go “Heeeeyyyyy!”.  She was cheering the Tour De France. We would ask her where the bikes were and she would point to the TV.  She is really good at pointing at things in books if we ask her where pictures are.  80 percent of the time she is right! She knows things like apples, bananas, ball, bubbles, dog, kitty, etc.  It’s pretty fun to see her learn!


Sleep Habits:  It’s always one good nights sleep followed by a crappy night’s sleep.  I’ll take it.  She has more good nights than bad so it’s getting better.

Doctors Visits:  Well…she hated everything about her appointment, but she survived.  The doctor told me he sees this a lot in 15 and 18 month old kids because they are starting to remember the doctor’s office.


Eating Habits: She loves her milk. She drinks 3 glasses a day (which is what the doctor says she needs) and then loves her water too! She eats bananas in the morning along with eggs or pancakes.  She loves spaghetti, peas, carrots, egg rolls, and mac and cheese.  She is a pretty good eater. She especially likes to eat anything Mike eats.

Milestones: More talking! Her vocabulary is getting bigger and bigger!

Looking Forward To: Teaching her colors and numbers.  I need help with this early childhood stuff.  I only know middle school teaching stuff! 🙂



Easter 2014

It was Olivia’s first Easter this year since she decided to take her sweet time getting here last year. 🙂  I was super excited for her to go through all the celebrations.  Really though, when a kid is one year old, it is more for the parents than it is for the kid.


We had an Easter BBQ over at the Stewart’s house with a whole bunch of friends and family.  I love it when Olivia is around other kids, even if they are older than her.


The Stewart’s were so awesome to have Easter eggs and the kids went on an Easter egg hunt.


I made Mike go with Olivia since I usually make him search for eggs in our house too.  The poor guy.


Then on Easter morning Olivia put on her pretty Easter dress from Aunt Debbie and we went to church.  It was really funny because she wasn’t walking yet so she hated how long the dress was on her knees and did this weird “spider crawl” across the room.


The Easter loot! I WILL dye Easter eggs next year.  I always forget to do that!


Overall, it was a fun Easter to have the family around and to make memories!

14 Months!


Stats: I haven’t been to the doctor yet but when I stand on the scale with her she is about 21-22 pounds.  She has gotten so tall! Stay tuned next week for her real stats!

Favorites: PLAY!  She is always playing with toys.  Now that she is walking, it is all about the shopping cart and dragging it around the house.  She doesn’t play with her car as much because she can walk all by herself now and she was using it more as a crutch.  She loves to play with cars and her Klip Klops while making car sounds, of course.

Lifesavers for Mom and Dad: The fact that she is more independent now.  I can hand her things and she entertains herself.  I am loving jogging with her still in the BOB.


Dislikes:  Wiping her face, sleep, being taken away from her toys when she is not done…to be honest I can’t really think of things she doesn’t like. She’s pretty easy going, except when she is know how it is!

Facts: She is a great walker.  She is saying words like “shoe”, “ball”, “sock”, “ear”, and “bubble”.  She knows a lot of words, especially bike.  We are watching the Tour De France and I ask her where the bikes are and she points to the tv.  She knows words like light, banana, apple, ball, and Jesus.  She will point right to them when I ask her.  She loves music and bobbles her head back and forth to it.

Sleep Habits:  It’s still a feat!  Some nights she is great…others I am pulling my hair out!


Doctors Visits:  Next week!  Today I took her to get her blood drawn and she didn’t even make a sound when they put the needle in her.  The only thing she cried about was that I wouldn’t let her touch the needle!

Eating Habits: She is weened off of formula and on straight milk now during meals. She loves food! I give her things like bananas and pancakes for breakfast, as for the rest of the day she eats oranges, turkey (she loves meat), applesauce, goldfish, spaghetti, quesadillas, beans, mixed veggies, the list goes on and on… She can use a fork and spoon!

Milestones: Walking as of 13 months!  The baby gates are up!!

Looking Forward To: Hearing her say more words and communicate more to me! I love to hear her sweet voice!



Coyote Classic 2014

The Coyote Classic is the first race of the NMORS season and it is always a good welcome to the mountain bike race series.  Luckily this year we had a little bit of cooler weather.  It took place on March 30, 2014.  Because I am such a slacker with blogging and I’m writing this in July, I will try to recap as much as possible!


Normally Mike and I both would have raced this race, but after doing the 12 Hours of El Paso, I realized I definitely was not ready for the sport course of the race.  Sometimes I wish I could go back to the beginner days just to build up my stamina.

Here is a pic of Mike and Eric Sortemme, a good biking buddy of his.  This was Eric’s first race and he placed fifth out of a lot of people.  Awesome!


Olivia came along for the show and was pretty excited to watch all of the mountain bikes.  She is all about anything with wheels!


During the race, the bikers make a loop through the start line and then go out for another smaller lap.  It was cool to see Mike come in so soon. I knew he would podium after I saw him come in on the first lap.  And he did!  He got third place in his large 30-39 category!


Mike pre-riding before the race!


The crowd that showed up.  It is always a big race!


Right before the starting whistle for all of the categories!


Overall, it was a success.  It is really competitive to get a podium in this race, so it was awesome to see Mike get a plaque!

12 Months!


Stats: According to doctor’s records…18.8 pounds and 2 feet 5 inches.

Favorites: From her birthday party…her green push car, Baby Stella, and the Klip Klops!

Lifesavers for Mom and Dad: The fact that she is more independent and wants to play with toys by herself.  She is not walking yet, but is so close!  Her toys keep her pretty entertained. Also her outings with other kids and her mother goose class keep her busy!


Dislikes:  Being left to go mountain biking, sleeping in her crib, being changed on her diaper table

Facts: She is definitely getting close to walking around.  She uses the couch and wall to stand up. She hasn’t tried the stairs or climbing yet.  She likes to eat bananas and pancakes for breakfast.

Sleep Habits:  Overall, if you don’t count her waking up at night, she sleeps from around 8:30-9:30 until about 7 in the morning.  She still wakes up at night and screams.  It is easier for me to just go in and touch her than to sit and listen to her scream for an hour.  She doesn’t want to eat and she doesn’t want to be held either.  It’s so weird…


Doctors Visits:  She had a pretty bad ear infection that led to croup.  I swear she got it from this indoor playground we went to.  Boo!  It was so sad to have such a sick baby. She had to get a steroid shot.

Habits: Still using the bottle 3 times a day. It will be interesting to start her on milk.  She likes to play with her toys right after breakfast and sometimes spends her time in her high chair watching Bubble Guppies.

Milestones: So close to walking…says words like “Ball” and “This”…

Looking Forward To: Walking and summertime!


12 Hours In The Old El Paso 2014

Holy cow! It has been three months since we did this race, but I am going to try to recap what we did. So yes, one of our long-term goals this year was the return of Lady Cluck and the Boys.

Mike, Brent, Jared (and Brad), and I signed up for 4 man co-ed race for the 12 Hours In the El Paso race on February 1, 2014..  It started out with me on the first lap.  I have never started a twelve-hour race.  In case you don’t know, you have to run to your bike in your bike shoes to start the race.  (That was very interesting!!) The other factor I didn’t think about was how we were ALL starting at the same time! It was really hard for me to keep up with the fast people and then I would get stuck behind slow people.  I ended up averaging about a 1 hour and 15 minute lap!


Not to jump the gun or anything…but did I tell you that we got first place??? 🙂


Every single person on our team ended up riding two laps and it worked out perfectly.  The timing for me was impeccable because the baby took her nap when i went out on my second lap.  The boys kind of got jipped because each of them had to do a night lap. I was the last person to go at sunset….so lucky! I am a terrible night rider!


If you look closely, yes I am holding a baby on the podium! Haha.  She lasted the whole day!


This is Brent going out on his night lap.  The first part of the race is pretty fun because you are doing a section called Lazy Cow that is super windy.  Then you hit an uphill climb for a huge portion of the race and then it is all downhill from there…until you head back to camp. This year they added a little more miles to the race and had you come into camp and take off on some more treacherous trail. I hated it! It was pretty hard and mentally hard on me.


We had some friends and family to come out and support us!  That was fun!


This last part of the trail is a jeep road that is downhill. It feels awesome to fly down it and hit the finish line!


We did it! We got first place!  Lady Cluck and the Boys did not disappoint!