Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Few Snapshots of Christmas 2010

Taylor's first stocking!

Cuz Tristan and Emma

Mommy and Emma decorating tissue paper at Cheekwood!

Daddy and Emma after her Choir Performance!
Hopefully I will have more soon! Happy Day of Jesus's birth!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Baby

Had to share the very cute photo of my sweet girl with Santa. She was a pro this year at sitting in his lap. Two years ago this would not have happened without her screaming. Last year she sat there in tears, so we have come a long way! It is so cute, I thought you might like to see it too. My sweet friend made the little skirt she is wearing and it has bells. Fun to listen to as she walks around holding daddy hand. Which is how she walked up to BoBoBo as she calls him:) (started a few years back before she could say h words). She walked right up and said Hey BoBo! So cute!

Love all the Christmas fun we are having at our house. Emma loves this holiday and makes us turn on all the lights in our house as soon as she wakes up. She keeps taking ornaments off the tree and rearranging them, which is fine, the ones on the bottom are nonbreakable. She gets excited about everything we go and do, like decorating cookies today or making ornaments with Hudson. So much fun to be had this time of year, and loving all the memories we are making.

Love and Happy Holidays! Take a moment and cherish what is going on around you!

Monday, November 29, 2010

What will my Christmas Card look like this year?

Christmas Card time is here again, and oh what to do? Do we send a picture card, one made by Emma or a store bought sign your name here one? Oh the decisons the decisons!!! Here it is the day before December and I am running out of time, which is no surprise to me as my life is crazy busy. So, what do I do and where do I turn to get the job done not only fast but beautiful too....well if you must know... I cheat and use a great website. Shutterfly is my new best friend!!

If you want to make a great photo card check out this link: . If you go there you can add your own photos to already designed cards. I am already trying to narrow down my pictures to use and I think the winner is

Or maybe this one??

or I am not sure yet!!?? Pregnancy makes me so unable to make a decison!

But if you want to make a great choice on your card go to: to pick out a cool designed card to send out to all your family and friends. It is so easy and so fast and they will come in your mailbox ready to be addressed with no hassle. I made Emma's birthday cards here last year and loved the quality and the ease of doing it online. I am no computer whiz but I could figure out the directions and it was a piece of Christmas Pie to do:)
I will say cards are not the only thing I am currently working on at Shutterfly, I am working a special calendar for Daniel with his girls on it for 2011. Go here to see the awesome choices to make your own special calendar for someone special:

I hope this post will help you with some of the craziness in your life right now. There is so much to do to prepare for the holidays and I hope you can make your life a litte easier with Shutterfly!!

Happy Card shopping!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rasberry Kisses

Fun in the fall!

First glimpse of Taylor Daniel

I just love that Emma gives my belly Rasberry kisses now before bed. She thinks it is so fun to blow on my ever expanding belly. Her brother seems to like it as well, he wakes up and starts kicking up a storm. Looking fowar to the day she can give him kisses outside my belly:) I feel like they are going to love each other so much and she is going to be a great big sister!

Quick update on the kiddos:

Little growing man, seems to be doing well. Today he gave me a little scare, but after being monitored for twenty minutes he was deemed fine. My heart might not ever be again, since I was so scared something was wrong. They think he is just growing faster then my belly is expanding. He is going to be big I fear!

Emma is doing great in school. She is starting to count more, recoginze and name more colors, and is learning to trace letters slowly She is going to have her OT eval done soon we hope to try to get help with handwriting and cutting skills. She loves her teachers and her classmates so much and is talking so much more this year. She even answers questions during carpet time which she never did last year. We did have a few weeks of crazy medical problems. We started out with a horrible UTI and ended up with her having outpatient surgery to clean out her colon. She seems to be doing better on both those fronts, but still a little more clingy and waking up at night. Which we see when she has had medica crisis. Hopefully that will pass soon.

She is excited about HOHO coming soon. She will be in two choirs (one at school and one at church). Looking forward to both performances! Trying to shop and will soon decorate the house YIPPPEEE!! I am not sure how I will do that with this big belly but I will try.

That about sums up life right now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Am I coming or going?

Wow I am not sure which way is up or if I am coming or going? What a week! In the midst of trying to prepare for a wedding Emma and me are in next week, the normal life craziness, Halloween and trying hard to start working on the nursery, we end up having an outpatient procedure done on Emma on Tuesday. But to be truthful that is the reality we live with having a special medical complicated child. My husband laughed when I rubbed my tummy and told Little Taylor Daniel that this was life and we learn to roll with what comes:)

She is doing much better today and went back to school. But she is still clingy and needy which is to be expected from the OR meds! She is napping again which is nice, since she tried for two weeks to give it up and was a crank the whole time. I am able to do a few small projects while she naps and normally lay down a little too. I am not as tired now, being 23 weeks and all, but a small nap helps as the day gets longer inside due to it being dark earlier.

So, it has been a crazy week but a good week as well. Got lots of snuggle time in with my first born and still trying to grasp that I am having a healthy boy in March! Wow looking at blue is a whole new ballgame for sure. Did I mention he is healthy, we are so thankful for that fact. He will love his big sister and already responses to her cries! She even says baby when she points to my belly! Can not wait for the two to meet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

These are the moments

As we happily prepare for the arrival of baby Zook 2 in March, I find myself trying very hard to focus on spending quality time with Emma and soaking it all in. Yes, she has had us to herself for almost five years, and for many of those she needed lots of our help, but as she gets more and more independent and baby number two's arrival date creeps closer, I know things are wonderfully about to change. Do not get me wrong we are so happy for baby Z and have wanted this for a long time, but I know things are going to be different. We will know longer be a family of three but a family of four. Wow that is still so exciting to say!!

So, moments like seeing her ride the barrell train at the farm today made me almost cry. Last year she was afraid and this year she rode it proudly seated by her best friend Kadence. So proud of her and looking forward to the day she rides it with her sibling too. Moments like watching Daddy and her walk down the driveway with Emma holding his hands and walking in front of him, make me shut the door and bawl, as I reflect back on the many surgeries she has had and the hours of therapy she has had to bring us to that precious moment. I find myself even putting aside my OCD behavior to clean and instead sit in the floor playing puzzles as long as she wants since I know soon my time will be split between two little ones.

She is so precious! She will be a great big sister, but till that day, I will savor the moments with my first born as my second miracle grows and kicks in my expanding belly.

Stop these week and savor the little moments with your miracles.

Friday, August 27, 2010

First two weeks

Emma right before leaving for school!

Emma walking in on the first day!

Daddy helping her wash her hands!

This is whem Mommy cried, she took her teacher's hand and walked into class.

Emma is thrilled to be back at the Children's Center. She went right in on the first day and settled right into her new room with no problems at all. She was so happy to see some old friends and make some new ones. Her new teachers are wonderful. Her lead teacher, has a lot of experience with speech delays and has already taught her about 15 new signs and the words to them as well:) I am having to try to keep up:)

She has gotten to go to art, chapel, and music classes again and loved them all. She really likes getting to see her old teacher from room 5 while in Chapel and yells her name out. She also has to stop and speak everyday to her old teacher too, and if she sees her out the window she freaks out and starts chanting. So silly! But she loves her new teachers as well and goes in and hugs them first thing in the morning.

Finally all of her metro teachers have been by. She still has her same PT as last year, which we are so happy about. I know her special education teacher, since she worked in my classroom a few years ago, and I meet her new speech teacher yesterday. Not sure about her yet, but she seems nice. I will be meeting with her and the IT person on Friday to learn how to use the first augmentative device we will be trying with Emma. We fear it will be to simple a device, but have to start somewhere. I hope it helps her speech and am looking forward to moving ahead on this.

I have been so happy to have her back in school and learning so quickly. She is talking more and more with her friends and the teacher is really trying to foster that communication, since Emma does tend to go towards adults more due to her having so much therapy with adults. She has gotten to be the line leader and the flag holder already and did great at both. She tells me about her friends on the way home and that she had a happy day. I am so glad we decided to leave her at the Center. They are so great!!

Looking forward to a wonderful rest of the year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Another Big Step

Backpack is packed, the extra emergency clothes are labeled and in a bag, your new outfit and bows are laid out, and you are snoring away. So all in all we are ready for the big first day of school tomorrow. (well mommy still needs to pack your lunch in your new princess lunchbox) I can not believe you will be starting your second and last year at Belle Meade Children's Center tomorrow. Where did the summer go? You will be in room 7 with two new teachers, but a lot of your friends from last year.

We went earlier this week and meet your teachers and talked to them about you. Planned diapering and those issues out and dropped off your diapering supplies so as to not draw attention to it on Monday. The school had already put into place the brand new changing station that was bought for your room and the teachers do not seem to mind having to change your cute little butt twice a day while you are there. (she is only there 9-12) We are so lucky this year that both your new teachers have lots of experience with special needs children and are looking forward to working with you. One, the main teacher, even has worked with speech delays and signs to all the class which will help you a lot too!!

You were so happy to be at the school for a visit and asked to see Mrs. Juarita your teacher from last year, but you would not talk to her. However, you have not stopped talking about her since Wednesday. Your new teachers took us to your room and let you play for a few minutes and after looking around unsure for a few minutes you got down and started playing trains with your friend Levi from last year. It was so cute. I think you will be fine tomorrow and adjust quickly to new room and teachers. Hopefully the weather cools down and you can go outside and play soon, since you can see the playground from your room and you love it. But right now it is too hot to allow you out.

Mommy and daddy are excited for a new year, but mommy is sad and nervous as always. I just pray that they remember to change you and that they remember that you like a straw in your milk cup since it is hard for you to hold and drink an open cup. I also hope you are safe and loved. I know you will be but still give mommy a little bit of time to be nervous. I love your school and they love you so, I am sure this will be great. Looking forward to a lot of new experiences and great reports this year. Wow my big girl is starting school again!! SO proud!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

could have been bad

I just looked in on my slumbering little cutie and she is cuddled up with her duck she calls "Quack". It is so cute to see her sleeping with her little arms wrapped around her lovey. This duck has been through every surgery, test, xray, dr appt. and so on. You name it, this duck has been there. At one point it had it's own id band at the hospital. This duck is much loved and Emma has never gone to bed without it. Not to mention this duck was in her bed when she was in the NICU at birth. IT is a special little item that would have been very sad to lose.

However, today almost ended that. We thought duck was lost. Daniel took Emma to school today, and took the duck forgetting that he was not the one picking her up, his mom was. Well we have not been sending the duck into school it is normally left in the car. So, Nana did not know the duck should have been in her bag. Then, Nana meet Meme to pick Emma up and bring her to her house while I finished working. A few hours later, I pull in happy to see Emma and my nephew Hudson with the McDonald's I picked them up for lunch and mom says "Do you have duck?" I about fainted since I knew I did not. So I start a frantic list of phone calls, to Daniel, to Nana, to her school, and finally get Nana who went back and found the duck at school. The teachers had to change Emma today and left the duck out when they put everything back in her bag. So, thank Goodness the duck was found and is happily back in Emma's arms tonight. Thank you Nana who got it to Papa to bring to Emma. She was so happy to see it tonight.

So, it could have been a sad day, but instead we spent the afternoon painting on the deck with cousin Kylie and then splashing in the water! What a great day after all. Night Night all!!

Emma with one night with her duck!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Tiny Ballerina

I can finally share a few shots of Emma dressed for Ballet Class! She is so cute!

After ballet she loves to wear her "pretty" as she calls it for the rest of the day. This day she decided to add a few things to her outfit. It was so cute I took a picture. She is so silly!!

Ballet has been great for her. She loves learning and trying to do the moves. A few our hard in her walker, but she does not seem to mind. She really loves the other kids and does whatever they do, like today she got in trouble for hanging and swinging on the bar like another girl was doing. What can I say she is a little monkey.

Life is good here at the Zook household, having fun in the hot summer heat and it is hot here in Nashville. Love to you all, please go the sidebar and click on Prayers for Bennett and keep up with Baby Bennett and his fight for better lungs. He is a precious tiny miracle and we love him so much. Please join us in praying for him and his wonderful family. They are dear friends of mine and need our support!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July

Wow! What a fun week and weekend we had. On Thursday we decided since the weather was in the 80's instead of the 90's we would take a trip to the Nashville Zoo after Emma got out of school. She was not sure what we were doing both taking her to school, but she was happy. Then, when we picked her up and told her we were going to see monkey's she got really happy. The monkey's were acting crazy when we got there and she loved watching them swing from the trees and yell. She kept telling us "it loud" and covering her ears. So funny! Then, we spent some time walking the zoo (which requires us to get her out at the exhibits and hold her to see since she can not from her stroller) and she liked most of the animals. She really loved the indoor building that had fish and frogs and stuff. She could cruise between the areas and see it all on her own and she really liked that a lot and we were happy to not have to hold her for a few minutes:) It was a great trip and many great memories were made that day as a family. Gotta love small trips!

Saturday we hung at home for most of the day and played in our little pool on the back porch. She was so funny laying on her belly and swimming! Then we went to eat at Meme's and Pop's with Aunt Nay too. It was great food. Afterwards we headed to Pegram Ballpark to listen to a live band and see some fireworks. Emma loved the blowups but got scared by all the kids, so Daddy took her to the playground and she danced her way up the stairs and went down the slide over and over again. Then, she danced with Daddy and Mommy to the band. She had just gotten into the music when it was time for the fireworks. She was not too sure about those at first but once she climbed up into Meme's lap she thought they were pretty but loud. It was really late by the time we dropped Meme and Cousin Ian off but Emma was wide awake and told Pop all about it. She finally crashed and slept all night!

Sunday she spent some time with her Nana, Papa, Aunt Jenn and Tristan while Daddy and Mommy went to see Eclipse together. Then we all went to dinner. Today we ran some errands and did some painting while Daddy worked.

All in all we have been busy but had a ton of fun.

I would post photos but I have no camera right now. So sad hope to get one soon. I need photos of my cutie pie!!

Please pray for my dear friend Adrienne how gave birth to a 1.4lbs miracle named Bennett on Saturday night! He is a fighter but needs lots of prayers in the coming days and months as he grows and gets stronger.

Love to you all

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grandmother Turns 90!!

This weekend my wonderful Grandmother turned 90. We had a big bash to celebrate at my Aunt Linda's house. They had a huge blow up water slide for the kids, a bounce house and baby pool as well to entertain the like 30 or so great grandchildren of my Grandmother, under the age of 16. Inside we had a beautiful pink cake, fruit, cupcakes and so many more yummy treats that all had 90 on them in pink, my grandmother's fav color. Her two sisters came in from out of state and it was nice to see them and have them together again as well. It was a great party for a wonderful lady.

I love my grandmother so much! She loved to travel when she was younger and even took me on two trips, my grandfather did not want to go on. We went to Memphis to see Elvis and to Washington DC to see the sights there. I loved both trips and will cherish those special memories forever. I also remember growing up and her reading to me in the front porch swing. I always made her read me "Miss Susy" and "Harry the Dirty Dog", no matter how many times I asked she read them. I know have the copy of "Miss Susy" that she read to me and it is very special. I am looking forward to the day Emma can sit that long and listen to it. It is a great book about a squirrel:)

I am proud to call her Grandmother and hope to someday be as kind-hearted as she is and as Godly as her as well. She is an amazing lady who has lived a long time and was married for over fifty years before my Grandfather passed away. Such a testiment to love. She loves pink and I smile everytime I wear it or Emma does because I think of her. Her is to many more memories with Grandmother Clark!! Love you Grandmother and thanks for loving me and my family. Without you I would be lost!

here are some great photos from that day

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuttus and Tears

Four and half years ago I found out I was having a girl through an ultrasound. I admit I started dreaming of ballet classes, princess crowns and pink hairbows. (I did think of soccer and basketball too but not at first). I had dreams of her first recital and seeing her all dressed up in her first ballet costume.

April 6th of 2006 I welcomed my beautiful daughter into this world vie C-section. I remember holding her while I still laid on the OR table and thinking she was perfect. We knew she might have kidney issues but all I saw was a small bundle with sole searching blue eyes. I still clung to my ballet dreams as they finished my surgery and I waited to really get to meet my daughter in recovery.

Soon after those precious moments at her birth, the world tilted and everything got sideways as we began our journey of medical issues with Emma. The dreams of her dancing were soon put on the back shelf in a dark closet and replaced with hospital visits, surgeries, trips to so many specialist my head hurts trying to count how many, and trips to one therapy or another.

Four years later, I finally got to dust those old dreams off and bring them into the light. Today Emma went to her first ballet class!! She put on her "pretty" as she calls her leotard and her little pink socks (can't find ballet slippers in her size) and we headed off to town. She was so excited, we had been reading ballet books all week and talking about it. She was nervous when we first go into the school and climbed the stairs with her walker in tow, but she quickly got over it. Luckily a little girl from our storytime was also in the class and she followed her to go stand on her star and follow what the teacher did. I sat in the back trying so hard to not bawl like a baby in a room full of strangers. I was so proud of my pretty ballerina in her pink tuttu and her shiny silver walker helping her move. My own tiny little ballerina!!!

I will never forget these first 45 minutes of dance class, as I watched my little girl get to be a girl and learn first position and how to raise up on her toes. I will forever hold tucked into my heart watching her follow the teacher as she showed them a dance with a blue scarf and she copied every move she made. I will be able to cling to those precioius memories the next time things get tough and medically scary. She was not able to do everything like her friends due to the limitations of her walker but she did her best and adjusted the skills to her own needs and I was beaming with pride. She did not get all shy and scared she smiled and loved every minute. Her teacher quickly figured out how to manuver her in and out of the walker and I only had to help once which was nice to see her interact with a new person and trust the teacher in the room. She has come so far from only trusting family.

She loved it so much she did not want to take off her outfit and I had to put it back on after her diaper change in the trunk of the car, and she wore it proudly to show her Meme and Pop how we were meeting. She even wore it to Target with Pop before it got wet and had to be taken off. When Daniel got home tonight she told him in her few words about it and showed him her book that told about Ballet and then pointed to herself and said pretty!! Then, after dinner she showed him her ballet moves and stretches from today. It was so sweet! He will hopefully get to go one class and see her be a tiny princess too.

Her class runs for six weeks and we will see from there. We really did this to allow her to work on her muscles and her social skills in a new and fun way. She loves dancing and music at school so we thought it would be a great fit and it seems to been a success so far. No matter what happens at the end of this class I will always remember today and be forever grateful for God allowing us to bring a dream put away out and life it to the fullest. She may never be a prima ballerina but she will always be my tiny ballerina!! So brave and so smart. Her smile today will always been in my heart.

Like I said tears and tuttus!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Emma loves her Daddy!

Here are a few photos that show how Emma loves her daddy! They go from now to the beginning of thier relationship. As you can tell they love each other a lot!

Wow! It seems like only yesterday I took that photo of Daniel laying his head by Emma while she was in the NICU at Vandy. Still makes me cry to see how much love he had for her from day one. He is a great dad and Emma is so lucky to have him. Happy Father's day to a special dad.

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Week

Emma did wonderful at her first week of Speech and Language class. I was more nervous then she was. I did have to walk her down to the room and do a drop and run while she screamed, but they reported she quit as soon as she saw the puzzles to play with. She already is talking with them which is huge. Emma normally does not speak around people she does not know, but I assume she realizes they are teachers like her old teachers were. Daniel took her the second day, while I worked, and said she told her friends good bye as they loaded onto their buses. (some kids ride school buses, but not Emma) So, all in all it went well and we are looking forward to seeing her make progress throughout the summer.

She is already talking so much more then a year ago, or even six weeks ago. She is speaking in two to three word phrases which is huge for us, and more and more people can understand her. It is so much fun to actually be able to talk to her and have her respond a lot of the time now with real words. She still does not make sense sometimes but it is so much better. We are still using some signs which really helps and we use a picture card book as well. We use every type of communication we can to help her be understood. Now, we just have to work on her not using her Whiney voice as we call it.

It is really hot in Nashville already so we are starting to spend time in water or inside whenever we can. We bought her a new pool Sunday and can not wait to bust it out. Last week, we did get out her boat to splash in, but she is almost to big. WE bought her boat when she was one, it is really a float but for almost three summer's she has sat in it and played. It is a great boat and it cost a dollar. So we really got our money's worth. I am sad she is out growing it:( But we have great photos of her in it throughout the last few summers. We headed to the splash pad in my home town today and Emma had a great time, chasing Hudson (her cousin) around int he water. She was able to use her walker and go where she wanted and that was great. She looked so cute in her water shoes and bathing suit in her walker. So, nice to have her be able to be like her friends and splash in the water without me having to hold her the whole time. She loves being independent whenever she can.

On the doctor front we were released from her eye doctor on Thursday!!! yeah!!! No major issues and she has perfect vision, despite the fact that she does have pigment variations in her eyes as well as her skin. But he has followed her from birth and feels that if she was going to have problems she would already have showed them. So till we see vision issues we are free of one more doctor. (we have only been released from like three so this is great)

Lots going on but loving it all!!

Love Rachel

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Last Day of School

Emma beside the Puppet Stage

Ms. Curly and Emma

Ms. Jarretta and Emma loving on each other!

Emma's favorite place at school to relax and read a book

Emma and her friend greeting each other before the party! Too sweet!

This is Emma outside the window to her room, every morning she would stop and peer in to see what they were doing, and I mean every morning all year long!

Wow! This school year has flown by! Emma has finished her first year of preschool, and I can not believe it is over. I pulled into the parking lot today for her end of the year party and it felt like it was only yesterday that we pulled in to drop her off for the first time. I will never forget that day, it was so hard yet so exciting to see her join her peers in school. She did not cry that day but I did! That day was a beginning and today was the ending of her time in Fab Room 5 as they are called. Bittersweet for me for sure. She loves her teachers so much and the thought of her moving to another room is sad, but boy has she grown and changed and we owe a lot of it to the wonderful teachers who have loved her and accepted her for who she is.

They gave us a book today of her year. I almost cried looking at it. It is full of pictures from different things they have done and different art projects they did too. To see how much she has changed and grown was so neat. There are some precious photos of her with her friends and seeing her interacting and playing with them was so touching. I have just cried looking at it and am so proud of my strong baby girl.

I am still amazed at how much she has loved school and everything about it. She is was always happy to arrive and take her place on the carpet. She knew exactly where her name tape was and would walk with me to it and sit down for circle time. When I would get there at lunch to pick her up, she would tell me about her friends and hug her teachers good bye everyday!! At home she would tell us about music, chapel, and playing outside, a few of her favorite things oh and art class. It was such a hard choice to put her in preschool, but it has been the best thing for my Rosie! She has really learned to use those wings we gave her when we walked her into that building on the first day.

Next year she will be in a new room and have a whole new experience and time, but for now, I will look at her little book of memories and be proud of her and enjoy our summer together. I have a feeling I will hear a lot of School? Mrs. Jarretta for a few weeks till she realizes she is home now. (Well two days she will be in a speech class with 10 kids, but she does not know that yet)

Love my little sleeping angel!!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Giant Step for Emma

I have the best video in the world to show you in this post!! You will cheer and cry all at the same time. This video is many years in the making and waiting. It is many hours of therapy, determintation on Emma's and her peeps parts, and lots of prayers!! It might be just a few steps now, but wow!! So proud! It has made all those hours in therapy worth it:) SO proud of my sweet angel and am looking forward to many more steps in the future!!

I wish I could express how much this brief video means to those who know and love her, especially Daniel and Me! We have cried so many nights over having to watch her struggle to learn to: first sit-up, roll over, scoot on her bottom, finally crawl, learn to pull up and now, taking steps on her own. We pray that the wonderful wheelchair that is sitting in our garage will get to stay there for now, and that she will continue to grow stronger daily using her walker without a seat and walking on her own. (Thank YOu Joe for finally getting those braces working for her) I am amazed daily at her stregthn and determination. She is so strong inside and now outside. She never gives up and that is what pushes us to continue to drive to and from Vandy for her many therapies!! God gave her a pure heart that loves and does not believe in "I can't, b/c she will!" It is just on Emma time as we fondly call it.

My heart is bursting with joy and pride, I have dreamed so many nights of her putting her arms out to me and walking into mine. It is a dream come true and worth the wait. Sweet dreams my sleeping angel. Tomorrow is another day and adventure.

Love Mommy

Sunday, May 23, 2010