Friday, December 2, 2011


10 things I wish the world knew about our Charlie:

1. Just because Charlie doesn't look you in the eyes when you're talking to him doesn't mean he isn't listening. He hears and remembers every word you are saying, trust me.

2. Charlie is extremely funny, creative, loyal, loving, honest, and unique. You may never see this, though. He hides it very well when he is out in the "big bad world".

3. Charlie deals with so many obstacles on a daily basis: bright light hurts his eyes, loud noises hurt his ears, he can't stand to be cold or to have his head uncovered outside, he tires easily and doesn't have the endurance for sports-type games, he's extremely afraid of dogs and people in costumes, etc. Charlie is sensitive to so many things that most other people wouldn't even notice. He has worked so hard to overcome these obstacles. So hard.

4. Charlie is not simply "lazy", he has hypotonia (low muscle tone) - something he was born with. He tires easily and prefers more sedentary activities because of it. He has been in therapy for this.

5. Yes, Charlie may be clumsy, but this stems from issues with his gross motor skills. Therapy for this, too.

6. Charlie is not simply "picky", he has sensory issues that interfere with his eating. We are working on this, and have been for years. And, yep, more therapy.

7. Charlie is cherished and adored by his family and those who are close enough to get inside his little world. In turn, he is astoundingly loyal to his "people". Charlie's loyalty is one of his greatest and most poignant characteristics.
The way Charlie loves and protects his baby brother is like nothing I have ever seen.

8. Charlie does not understand a lot of the ways that people relate to each other and are "social" with each other. He is often oblivious to social cues and can appear very rude or uninterested. For this, I apologize. It is something we are constantly working on and one of my biggest fears for him is that he will never "get it". Be patient and persistent when you try to interact with him. Once you finally achieve that "connection", you are in and he will love you for life, I promise (see number 7!)

9. Charlie sees the world in such a unique way that every single day I am surprised, delighted, confused, frustrated, enlightened, sad, amused, and inspired by the words that come out of his mouth.

10. Charlie has Aspergers Syndrome.

I constantly find myself caught in this paradox between how completely amazing Charlie is and the need I feel to apologize for the way he is. I haven't known what to do with this. And mostly? I still don't.

All I really know is that Charlie needs to be loved in a unique way. A way that will fit into the grooves of who he is - grooves that follow very different paths and patterns from the world around him. If you take the time to step outside of "normal" and follow him down those paths and find him there and love him there, I promise you won't be disappointed. In fact, you might not want to leave.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why wine tasting isn't for lightweights...

Drew was working on the big "Homemade Wine Project" with Shawn.
Maybe the fumes got to him?

Monday, October 3, 2011


I have been wanting to write about this for a few days now. But I haven't been able to formulate the words to express my experience: how not only has it provided much needed nutrition and health for Drew, but how deeply it has impacted ME as a person to be blessed so abundantly by the generosity of complete strangers. I have been touched by it in such a deep, personal way that I felt like a "blog post" would never do justice to what has happened. However, I just have to try. So, here goes...

My breast milk supply is very, very low. This happened when Charlie was a baby, and has once again happened with Drew. Now, I had written a whole bunch about how sick Drew has gotten from the formula and how the formula that he was taking is made of mostly corn syrup and "isn't that horrible?" and how he is only healthy when he's on my breast milk which I can't provide him with and how hard I have tried to increase my supply and blah blah blah. But you know what? I deleted it.

Because what I really wanted to say is how incredibly thankful I am for what has happened. For the solution that basically fell into my lap on the very day that Drew was at his sickest, and I was at my most desperate to find a solution for him. For the incredible, amazing, giving, caring women that I have come into contact with over the past few days. So, here's how it went down:

A few days ago, I was reading my friend Rachel's blog. She was writing about something called "World Milksharing Week". Something I had never heard of before. Basically, these women who are nursing and have extra milk they don't need find other women who have babies and, for one reason or another, can't provide enough (or any) of their own breast milk for their babies and, well, they SHARE the milk! Brilliant! I never would have thought that such a thing existed! I was blown away. I immediately commented on Rachel's blog that man do I wish I knew someone who could share some milk with me!? Moments later, I get a text from her saying she can probably hook me up. I texted her back asking how much this whole thing's gonna cost (because I'm thinking this is gonna be spendy...) and she says, "It's free, silly!" What? Not only that, but she's got 50 oz of frozen breast milk in her freezer that she will give me for Drew to have while we try to track down more for him. What?! She also shared with me some links to pages on Facebook where I could find some "donor mommies" and also a website where I can pay a small donation fee and get on their forum to possibly find more milk donors. Which I did. Over the next few days, I came into contact with about 5 or 6 different women, all offering me their milk for Drew. One of whom is a surrogate mom (a beautiful thing all it's own), who is pumping milk for the baby she gave birth to in August, and has extra to share. What an amazing person. Not only did she sacrifice her body, her comfort, her lifestyle, for this little baby, but now she is pumping milk for a full year to provide for him! Wow. She has since contacted me to tell me that as long as I need more milk for Drew, she will share hers with me. Wow. Wow. Wow. I am so struck by this. We now have about 500 ounces of breast milk, from 4 different women, in our freezer to feed our precious little guy.
Drew is feeling SO much better since switching to 100 percent breast milk. He is like a different baby now. Happy, lots of cooing and babbling, sleeping through the night, the diaper rash is gone, along with the puking and the nasty diarrhea! And for that I am beyond grateful. I feel like I want so bad to repay these women. But how do you repay someone for selflessly giving your baby (whom they have never even met!) the very best start in life?

Here is a link to a post that Rachel wrote about our experience.

I really wanted to write more, and I wanted to write it better. But I really need to go to bed before the little tiger wakes up again wanting some of that good milk! So I'm just gonna hit "post" and hope I got the important parts out right. 'Night all. :)

I love finding things like this around the house!

I guess he couldn't find the "R" or the "I".

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cheap Entertainment

For Drew:
And a little something for mommy, too!

Monday, September 12, 2011

An evening at the Mommy Spa!

It was last night.
It was 4:30 AM.
And I got the "Triple P Package".

We start off with a little Puke, just a little, we like to ease in. Just a tad on your shoulder. Then, a little down the front of your shirt - like a peaceful waterfall. Wipe it around, to rub it in a little. Don't bother changing the shirt, there will be more.

Then we move on to the second P. Poop. Yes, lots of that! As you are changing the diaper, this Poop gets kicked around, spread around, smeared around. Oops, a little on your pants? Well, that's part of the fun! Take a fresh wipe, smear it around, rub it in, and move on!

Diaper off? Okay, time to move on to the the third P. Yep, you guessed it! Pee! Wee!!! Let's just spray that Pee everywhere! All over mommy, all over the bed, the sheets, the comforter, the pillow, even down to the floor! This 3rd P is like a cleansing rinse from the first 2 P's. A warm shower, if you will.

After the refreshing Pee shower, we mustn't forget one final coating of Puke - kind of like a moisturizing lotion. A soothing end to your evening of relaxation. Just let it wash over you and sink down into your pores.

Ahhhhhhh. Your skin will never be the same. And the scent? Oh, heavenly.

It is amazing! I highly recommend it. If you'd like to join me - you are more than welcome. In fact, this spa is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your convenience!

The best part, though? The very best part? The "for real" best part?
Is the reward at the end:

Makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drew Tucker

Before you were conceived, I wanted you.
Before you were born, I loved you.
Before you were an hour old, I would die for you.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is Charlie's "picture" of how life has been around here these days:

Yes, Drew has had some fussy moments. We are surviving...but it just doesn't leave much time to blog!

But just look at him. He is so, so incredibly sweet. Yeah, I think I'll forgive him for his fussiness!

In other news, Charlie lost his first tooth! He was so excited, and proud of himself. I don't know who was more proud - him or me? Man, I love that boy.

My amazing, talented friend, Stephanie, came out a couple weeks ago and took some beautiful pics for us.
I love them all, so much. I just can't pick a favorite! But here are a few goodies.

Charlie's first day of Kindergarten is on Thursday. Yikes! I don't even know what to think about that. I do know that I will likely be a mess after I drop him off...and may end up circling that school building like a mama bear for the entire 3 hours and 15 minutes of his first day!

How do you let go? I know, it's only Kindergarten, but he's still my baby! Everyone says they grow up fast, and it is so true. They grow up TOO fast. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Drew Video

I made a little video of Drew's first couple weeks on our new Mac. It's the first time I've used iMovie, so it's a little choppy - but I had fun!

Hope you enjoy! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Food Art

One of the nights while we were still in the hospital with Drew, Shawn brought Charlie home to spend the evening with him and tuck him into bed. On the drive to our house from the hospital, Shawn asked Charlie what he would like to do for the evening.

Charlie's plan: make french toast for dinner, make some "Food Art", and then of course a nice long story before getting tucked into bed. :)

Shawn decided to capture some of the moments on the iTouch to share with me when he got back to the hospital. So glad he did! I got such a kick out of these video clips. They really capture our Charlie and his funny little quirks. And even more, it is a perfect snap-shot of the kinds of things that Shawn is always doing with Charlie. The kinds of things that make Shawn such an amazing dad. Creative little adventures where Charlie gets to run the show and come up with new ideas and play, play, play with his daddy. I love it!

Here he is, cracking eggs for the french toast dinner. He was gonna show me how he could crack an egg into the bowl...but it didn't go quite as planned!

Now on to the "Food Art" project. I love how he apologizes at the beginning of the video for needing to look at the Food Art, not at the camera. And at the end he says to me, "I love you. Though." Such a sweetie.

Here he describes, in a very "Charlie" way, all of the ingredients in his Food Art. I LOVE how he calls the egg shells, "egg crusts"! Oh, and the big "glop" of egg. "Glop" is a common word in Charlie's vocabulary.

Proudly posing with his creation:


And, of course, the Food Art turns into a great snack for the chickens! I mean, who wouldn't love old french toast crusts, and cut up pickles, and dried up raisins, and egg crusts - all mixed together with a little honey?!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Drew is here!

Andrew Tucker Fletcher
July 21, 2011
1:54 pm
8 pounds, 11 ounces
21 inches

I can't believe our little man is already 11 days old! At the same time, it feels like we've had him forever in our hearts - we've just been waiting to meet him. Drew truly does complete our family. It feels so right, finally having him with us. Before he came, I couldn't even comprehend being able to love him even half as much as I love Charlie. I thought there was no way. But I can tell you the MOMENT I laid eyes on him, my heart was taken.

This baby is the most precious, sweet, cuddly, adorable bundle of joy. My heart is full, to overflowing. It's been a rough start for Drew - we've had some feeding/weight issues and right now the breastfeeding/pumping routine is taking up the better part of each day and night (the reason for this delayed announcement!), but we're past the hardest part now and it should only get better from here!

So...I'm just going to post a bunch of pics for now. Maybe in a few more days I'll have time to actually write more.

(Anyways, if I tried to write much now I'm not sure just how much sense it would make - massively sleep-deprived!!!)