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Random Notes {Texas Update Part 2}

I think I forgot to mention last time that Dr. M said he is confident that he can remove the diverticulum and allow Apollo’s esophagus to “hang free” but does’t think he’ll actually be able to eat “normally” for a long time because he has some serious psychological feeding issues to deal with now. I okay with that. At this point I’m beyond hoping that he’s suddenly going be “cured”. I’m already resigned to plenty of feeding therapy in my future.

Our Flight
Our flight down here was fairly ineventful…with the exception of a few exciting moments…like when the TSA agent insisted on opening a can of Apollo’s formula to test it…and the other TSA agent insisted they needed to open all four cans I brought along for his daily feedings. Don’t aske me what he expected me to feed Apoloo after that. Thankfully the female officer prevailed and they only opened the one can. I am a wee bit nervous about our flight back.

Then there was the medical emergency on board when they asked if there was a doctor on boarded and got out the huge on board medical kit…we never did find out what the emergency was, so I assume everything turned out okay.

Observations on Houston

We are trying to figure out why exactly people here in Houston seem to think Apollo is a girl…three times now he’s been called “she”…once when someone just saw his name on a chart.

Recycling isn’t nearly as big here as it is in Bellingham. All three of us feel guilty every time we toss a piece of cardboard or a plastic bottle into the garbage.

The sky. The big open sky. Wow! It is amazing to look around and not have your view obscured my mountains. And palm trees! Yes, so far I really, really like Houston.

The Ronald McDonald House here is big and clean and new. In Seattle they had volunteers who served dinner once a week. So far here dinner has been served all but one night, lunch has been served several times and this weekend breakfast is being served. This is saving us a bundle of money. Such a blessing!

Yesterday some Navy guys (and gals) served us lunch and shared about their lives flying f-18s and living in submarines. They are here for the Wings Over Houston and we’ve enjoyed watching their show as we drive down the freeway.

Yesterday we visited the Space Center. Among other things we saw a space shuttle and Apollo 17, the last space craft to go to the moon.

Today we drove to Galveston Island and enjoyed the beach.

We are trying to fit plenty of fun in between appointments. Most of Monday will be spent with pre-op appointments and after Tuesday my little man will be less than happy :(

Please, please share Apollo’s Story (link in the menu). The more prayers for him the better.



  1. Molly

    When it comes time for Apollo to eat again, you might want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy for his eating issues. hugs and love to you guys

  2. ann

    Please, please do not let the TSA open a can of formula again. It is a medical necessity. You declare it as such.

    From the TSA website:

    “Medically necessary liquids are allowed through a checkpoint in any amount once they have been screened. However, it is recommended that passengers limit the amount of liquid to what is reasonably necessary for his or her flight. Passengers should inform an officer if a liquid or gel is medically necessary and separate it from other belongings before screening begins.

    Liquids, gels, and aerosols are screened by X-ray and medically necessary items in excess of 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening A passenger could be asked to open the liquid or gel for additional screening. TSA will not touch the liquid or gel during this process. If the passenger does not want a liquid, gel, or aerosol X-rayed or opened for additional screening, he or she should inform the officer before screening begins. Additional screening of the passenger and his or her property may be required, which may include a patdown.

    Accessories required to keep medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols cool – such as freezer packs or frozen gel packs – are permitted through the screening checkpoint and may be subject to additional screening. These accessories are treated as liquids unless they are frozen solid at the checkpoint. If these accessories are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as other liquids and gels.

    Supplies that are associated with medically necessary liquids and gels – such as IV bags, pumps and syringes – are allowed through a checkpoint once they have been screened by X-ray or inspection. The passenger should declare these items to an officer and separate them from other belongings for screening.”

  3. Joolzmac

    Wow, that Ronald McDonald house sounds fantastic, how wonderful that so many meals are provided. It is on my list for a donation (here in Australia). It’s a great organisation! Prayers for Apollo and you all too!

  4. Beth

    TSA can’t make you open them. You don’t have to even open one! If you have problems ask to talk to someone else. When I traveled with my little ones I brought bottled formula and never had to open them. They will do extra screening including a pat down, most likely, although I have had times where they just send the liquid through the xray and were done with me!

  5. Camee

    Hi Renee. I’m still following your blog & your recent journey with Apollo down to Houston & wanted to let you know I’m praying & will pass your blog on to my friends at church for additional prayer. My momma’s heart goes out to you. {{HUGS}} ~ Camee Parker (in AZ)

  6. Muffy S.

    We added Apollo to our prayer list at church this morning. We have been reading your blog for some time.I am a momma of a large family and found you when I was searching for large family recipes.So, Apollo caught my eye when I read that he survived a cord prolapse as our little guy did not back in 2008 and then his other problems we just started praying for him. He is in our prayers.God Bless,The Stephensons.

  7. liz

    I was going to say the same. when we have adopted and had formula they never checked it. We had pre mixed ones and a bottle already mixed.

    Apollo is super adorable. My oldest son ALWAYS was referred to as “she” even when decked out in all blue and firetrucks..not that girlds can’t do that..we were just tired of it..He had big blond curls and blue eyes…however he was huge..not dainty at all…always blew our mind as he seemed ” all boy” to us. Our 2 yr old less and less gets refered to as “she” MIL points out every visit that when she shows pics of Noah people think he is a girl…again he has thick dark curls and huge brown eyes and a bit maybe angelic features..

    It’s funny we went to CA once and you could recycle anywhere. Here in MI we can recycle at home, but not readily in public.

    Sounds like you have done some neat stuff while gone. Praying surgery and recovery go well….any alternate plans to a spinal? Or back up plans like a pain pump?

  8. Michele P

    Glad you are able to have a few fun moments of joy admits the stress. How challenging to maintain a “normal” life for a child with medical issues. We know this from family experience. You are doing a great job!!!!

  9. The Groundskeeper

    If you get the desire to go to the beach again and want something a lot less commercialized than the beaches at Galveston, try taking the ferry over to Bolivar Pennisula. Usually there are a few dolphins swimming along with the ferry. Once there, just drive a few miles on the main road. You will start to see the beach on your right/south side. You just drive down onto the beach and swim. There are very few restaurants or other businesses, but there are also a lot fewer people.If you go on the North side of the penisula (island) there is a water way and you can watch the very large shipping vessels move along it.

    There is also the sea turtle hatchery in Galveston that is a nice stop. It won’t take all day, but would be a good addition to a trip down there. They give tours, but you have to call ahead.

    If you are looking for something a bit closer to the hospital, and outside, you might check out the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. It is just to the west of downtown.

    I am glad you have been able to enjoy your visit to a different part of the country, even if that was not your main reason for going. Hospitals are not exactly the best place to get sleep, though I’m sure you are trying. I’ll be praying for all of you.

  10. Mary

    My husband’s work was closed yesterday and will be again today because of the Hurricane. We will be lifting you and Apollo up in prayer all day today and praying together for the Dr. who will be operating. May the Lord surround you with His angels and guide the Drs. today. Love to all of you.
    Don and Mary – Philadelphia, PA

  11. Quinault

    When I visited my husband in TX in 2004 I noticed the recycling thing too. He was attending AIT at Goodfellow AFB. I couldn’t believe the amount of styrofoam and the complete lack of recycling services (and fire ants).

  12. Cody

    Prayed for Apollo and the rest of you on the drive into work and will keep it up throughout the night. If you need anything, I live on the northside of the city.

    You are right next to the Houston Zoo, and there is also the San Jacinto Monument and USS Texas nearby.

    And, sadly, Houston isn’t big on recycling…or being green, period. I guess it seems kind of pointless in the face of the pollution from the refineries.

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