Brennan's Journey

The support Brennan has received is overwhelming and incredibly humbling. There is a growing number of people who are asking us how they can help Brennan through his journey and our main focus and priority continues to be prayer for Brennan, his overall health and for the doctors. But so many people are wanting to help even more. For those that feel led to help Brennan financially, a "donate" button is now available. It is linked directly to a special account for Brennan and his long road ahead. Any amount is greatly appreciated. I wish there were words to express our gratitude for all of the support and prayers B is receiving. Thank you to all and God Bless.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

more cell phone picts...

here are a couple pictures from my phone (Once again, I seem to never bring my camera with me anywhere anymore)...

Now that B is in preschool 2 times a week, it gives me more one-on-one time with our lil Pnut. Faith and I are now able to go to B's old "mommy and me" class that he attended with me for 1 1/2 years. It's so fun to go to the class with her once a week.
Here is Faith on the mini trampoline.

Lil Pnut enjoying her snack (she's got this thing about tilting her head to the side in pictures... it's sooo funny)

While on a run with the kiddos, I stopped and let B feed the ducks

Fun at Micky D's

Such a cutie

The man himself, Dr. Roberson! This is at the Anaheim conference we went to a couple weeks ago. He was speaking about the surgery tht Brennan is getting in less than 2 months...yikes.

After the conference, we took our little guy to the Rainforest Cafe. My sister babysat Faith all day for us so we hung out at Downtown Disney after the conference.

This is too funny. It was a black-out day for our Disney passes when we were at the conference. So, we couldn't get into the park. Joel came up with a great idea. B just loves the tram ride. So, we took B on the tram ride from Downtown Disney to the parking structure and rode the escalator at the parking structure a few times, and then we rode the tram back. B had so much fun... hey, who needs the real rides right? :)

I try and go to all the parks around our valley. This was a new one for the kids and they loved it. They met a new friend to play with.

There was an art exhibit down in Beverly Hills that showcased an artist's dinosaur collection. It was amazing and B wanted to take a picture with all of them.

My favorite park in Beverly Hills has a water creek that runs through it. The kids love walking up and down the path splashing and getting all wet. (here she is tilting her head again for the picture...she is too funny :)

Monday, 23 August 2010

August's journey

We met a couple almost 2 1/2 years ago at a microtia/atresia conference up north in the Stanford area. We lost contact for a while but have now gotten back in touch. Their son, August, is an adorable little 3 1/2 year old who had atresia repair surgery 3 months ago by the same surgeon that we are using. I talked with Rochelle, his mom, on the phone for almost 2 hours about it. She went through the process step by step and answered all of my lingering questions I still had about it. August is having his medpor surgery (new ear put on) on August 31... in a week. It's the 8 hour surgery that uses medical plastic and a skin graft and membrane to create an ear. So, please keep August in your prayers!

I am thankful to have gotten back in touch with this wonderful family. Another neat thing is they live only about an hour away. I plan on visiting them once August is recovered from his next surgery. Brennan will have that surgery in March with the same surgeon August is having. It's awesome how God is working in this. Brennan will have another buddy to share his experiences with!

Please keep this family in your prayers as they prepare for this upcoming surgery next week. Here is a link to her blog:
There is a picture from the Aug. 14th post that shows August post-surgery. It hits home as to what our little guy will be going through in October.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


God has answered a prayer...I have so much more peace about Brennan's journey ahead of us!
We attended a conference yesterday at the Disney Hotel. It was a conference just for Microtia/Atresia. Though most of you have not heard of it, it does affect about 1 in 8,000 births. So, though that may be a small number, it sure is a big deal when it affects your family. The conference was from 8:30am to 4:30pm. It was a day filled with Doctors and medical experts discussing various topics about microtia/atresia.
An audiologist first spoke about the "ear"... anatomy, how it functions, different hearing issues etc. One doctor talked about the surgery he performs to create an ear. Another doctor discussed the surgery they do. There are 2 surgeries to choose from, other than leaving it as it is or using a prosthetic. One surgery is 4 stages of surgeries that use part of the rib cartilage to create an ear and a skin graft to attach to the head... crazy stuff. The other surgery is using a porous polyethylene implant, "medpor," (plastic) to use with a skin graft and skin membrane to create an ear and attach to the head. We are going the medpor route. It's a stage of 1 or 2 outpatient surgeries that seem to have the best results. Brennan will be having that surgery March 1, 2011.
Next, another doctor spoke about the various hearing aid devices or cochlear implants used to help hearing. Another surgeon presented the surgery for the atresia repair, which will be Brennan's first surgery this October. The doctor gave a detailed, step by step and very graphic presentation about the surgery using pictures and videos. It was hard to watch but good for me to see what my son will be having done. In a nutshell, Brennan has no ear drum or ear canal. The CT scans he had done last November show that he has the inner ear structures. Therefore, he qualifies for the surgery that will improve his hearing on his left side. The surgery will probably be about 3 hours total. The doctor will use a VERY SMALL drill to create an ear canal through his skull that will connect to his inner ear structures. Then the doctor will use a tissue membrane from Brennan's scalp that will be used as an ear drum. The doctor will attach the new ear drum and then use a skin graft from his scalp to "coat" the new ear canal. Brennan will have a plug in his new ear canal for a couple weeks and we will go to several post-op appointments within 8 weeks. His hearing should improve but it will never be up to 100%. It will help him localize where sound is coming from and hear softer sounds. His language acquisition will improve as well. He will have to see an ear doctor 2x a year for cleaning, but that should be the only maintenance for his new ear canal. It was such a blessing to hear the doctor speak about the process and we were able to talk with him one on on... It was great to talk with him since this is the surgeon that will be operating on our son in 2 months.
Another blessing for being at the conference was meeting new families who are going through the same thing. It is such a great support system being able to help each other in our various stages of surgeries. There was a boy and his family from Mexico at the conference. The boy was around 7 years old and he had the surgeries done already. He had the new ear put on about 3 years ago using the medpor technique. He had the ear canal done 2 months ago with the same doctor we are using. The little boy let us touch his new ear and ask him questions about the surgery and how his new ear is. FYI...his new ear looks amazing and I couldn't tell the difference from his "normal" ear. It was amazing. His ear canal looked great! It was so nice to talk with him and his family and it put me at ease.
Our next step... preparing for our trip up north. We will be in the Stanford area for 1 week for Brennan's surgery (including pre-op and post-op appointments). We have family staying at our house to be with Faith. We are just trying to prepare Brennan for his surgery to "help him hear better!" We are also trying to save, save, save... since we have to get a hotel for a week and who knows how much insurance will pay...that's another story (and another prayer request!).
Thanks for reading about our journey. One day I will be so glad when this is all over! I will look back and read these posts and be so thankful that we have helped Brennan as best as we knew how and hopefully be able to help other families beginning in this process.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


October 21... that is the date that causes me to lay awake at night lately.
We could really use our prayer warriors out there!
We have been waiting for this day for over 3 years, since our little guy was born. Since it is only 2 months away, I find myself questioning our decisions and praying that we are making the best one for him. We will be putting him through a surgery that will improve his hearing and make it possible to live a life without a hearing aid! Yet at the same time, we are putting him through an intense surgery where a brain surgeon will drill a hole into our little guys head creating an ear canal and using a skin graft to create an ear drum. It's an amazing procedure and we are confident in our Dr.... it's just that as it approaches I find myself anxious, worried...
I pray that we can have peace through this process.
Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Big Day!

Today was a big day in our household. It was B's first day of preschool! It's 2 days a week and 3 hours each time. We have been talking with him about it for a long time and "preparing" him for his big day. He was really excited.

Right before we left for school

My two cuties!... Can't believe how fast time has gone, he is such a big boy!

Outside his classroom before school started

Me and my BIG boy!

Some fun pictures on the rocks

The Teacher's notes about the day

After class, B running out the door to meet me
It was weird and sad to drop him off and drive away, but on the otherhand it was nice to spend some quality time with our lil Pnut. I got some mommy/daughter time!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Air Show

We went to an air show today at Point Mugu. My brother John, who works at an airport, met me there and we all got to hang out for the day. It was great being there as it brought back many memories of all the air shows my grandpa used to take us to. Now we are taking my kids to them. I really wish my grandpa was here to experience this with us. I know he would be so happy to know that his love for planes is carried on through the generations.

B with Uncle John in front of a HUGE plane

Inside a helicopter (B's favorite)

We had to wear earplugs when this plane took off

Snack Time!!!

Great View of the planes!

I love this shot of my brother and B

Mommy and B in the Cargo Plane

He was ready for take off :)

Another helicopter

He was so excited to walk in this helicopter

Looking out the window

Happy as can be

Time to exit the helicopter


Friday, 6 August 2010

OC Fair

I'll be posting San Diego picts. soon...there are just a TON to sort through. But, in the are picts. of our annual trip to the Orange County Fair!

We met up with Joel's grandparents for lunch before we went to the fair. It's so great to see them. B loves seeing his great-g-ma and great-papa!

Trying to feed the animals

Faith, who loves animals, screamed and cried the minute I stepped inside the petting zoo. B loved it in there.

HUGE animal (the animal is laying down...HUGE) B wanted to get closer and hug it... this is as close as I could let him get :)

Riding the chair lift with daddy!

Lil Pnut

One of B's favorites

He spent a lot of time in an obstical course which ended with a slide. Everytime he finished he yelled..."I wanna do it again!!!"... Good thing he had his "unlimited rides" wrist band

Rides all by himself...such a big boy now

In the "choo choo train" (finally, Faith got to go on a ride!)

Really hard to get a pict. of everyone looking at the camera...isn't
B such a cutie!!!