Bri Colorful

Archive for September 2011

Parenting requires creativity. When the going gets rough, you gotta pull out whatever weapons you got in your arsenal. What do the Zabriskies do to put a fussy baby to sleep? … Good ole Fred Astaire.

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Last Sunday, Grant gave Bracken a name and a blessing. This is an ordinance in the LDS church, in which a priesthood bearer, in this case, Bracken’s father, gives a baby a new name (their name in this life) and blesses the infant with comfort, guidance, and encouragement at the beginning of his earthly journey. The ordinance is performed at the beginning of a regular church meeting (anyone, member or not, is invited to attend these meetings). The priesthood bearer, often the father of the child being blessed, stands in a circle with a few other priesthood bearers that he has invited to participate (which includes family, close friends, and a bishop) and they each hold the baby with one hand and close the circle with the other. Then the father gives the child a name and blesses the baby with whatever he feels inspired to.

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Grant invited a handful of very special people to participate in Bracken’s blessing: Bracken’s grandfathers, Bracken’s great grandfathers, our bishop, and his lifetime friend, David Holladay. The words of the blessing were sweet and powerful. I do not want to share them here as they are sacred to me, but it was a very special moment. Grant got a little chocked up as he blessed our sweet little guy. Both grandfathers described to me Bracken’s reaction to the blessing afterward. They said he was very calm and alert and partway through the blessing his eyes locked on Grant’s face and after a while he looked away with a thoughtful expression as if musing over what his Father had blessed him with.

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Many members of our extended family were able to join us in witnessing the blessing. It is a tradition in my mother’s family to attend each others’ baby blessings and baptisms and to get together afterwards. It was so special to have the family that was able to make it there.

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I was reading an article by Susan Easton Black about this special ordinance and something she said struck me.

I have found it interesting that in the scriptures a new name is often involved when a covenant relationship is formed. When Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth (see Gen. 1:28), Adam was given the responsibility of naming the animals (see Gen. 2:19–20). Likewise, in receiving Eve as his wife, Adam named her. (See Gen. 3:20.) God himself, after creating bodies for our first parents, “blessed them, and called their name Adam.” (Gen. 5:2.) Later, when Jehovah entered into a covenant relationship with Abram, he changed Abram’s name to Abraham. (See Gen. 17:5.) The Lord did the same thing with Jacob when He extended to Jacob the same covenant He had made with Abraham. (See Gen. 35:10.) We follow a similar pattern when entering into covenants with Christ in the waters of baptism. At that time, we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, and that becomes the name by which we are called. (See Mosiah 5:7–12.) The higher covenants of the temple also involve the giving and receiving of names. In each of these cases, the one giving the name assumes responsibility for protecting, loving, and nurturing the one receiving the new name. And the recipient of the name, in turn, is to honor the name-giver and follow his counsel.

I italicized this last point she makes. In the case of Bracken’s blessing, Grant, and by extension myself, gave Bracken his new name and so we assume responsibility for protecting, loving and nurturing him. Given the incredibly sweet spirit I can feel from my little guy, this is a great responsibility. I felt the weight of this responsibility settle onto my shoulders as he was put back into my arms after being blessed. He already has and will continue to bring our family much joy.

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Funny how it was his blessing day, and I felt so blessed.

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Post Post Script: The cute blessing outfit and shoes were made by my mother, Misti Atkinson, and the gorgeous blessing blanket was crocheted by my sister, KristiAnne Atkinson. They are very talented ladies.

This is your brain:

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This is your brain on breastmilk:

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There… Now you’ve got that lovely song stuck in your head as well. 🙂

Grant and I have noticed three dominant traits in our little guy’s personality thus far: curiosity, determination, and hunger.

The first makes sense. He’s new to this world so naturally he’s anxious to see and learn all he can about it. His curiosity was evident from just a few moments after his birth when they placed him tummy to tummy on my chest, and he lifted his head to try to look around. He’s been gaining more and more control over this part if his body ever since in order to turn and look at whatever he likes, whether he’s lying on his tummy or sitting up on someone’s lap. (yes, we do still cautiously support his head and neck).

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His quick development of this skill is also evidence of this kid’s determined spirit. His Grammy and his daddy noticed at just two and a half weeks that if they put him on his tummy and put pressure against the soles of his feet, he would push himself forward, one leg at a time in a sort of army crawl (minus any coordinated arm movement) all the while grunting like a constipated old man. Daddy loves to play this game with him when he gets home from work each day. Bracken’s expression and sounds during these games are so focused and determined-looking.

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The last trait, hunger, is a given I suppose but Bracko takes eating to a new level. He often eats frantically as though he thinks he will not have enough time to take in his fill. He is a terribly messy eater so when he pulls off he has a darling milk mustache. And though his cute little smile is not social yet and thus cannot be provoked by play or our own smiles, several times when he has been laid on my lap for mealtime, that smile has appeared as if in anticipation of the breast-milk coma he is about induce.

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We look forward to getting to know him more and more. Thus far, he is an extremely cheerful little guy, and we are grateful.

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We met with a financial counselor yesterday to figure out the best plan for our financial future. We walked in with our new baby to talk about our new job and he commented on the fact that we had two major life changes all at once. I told him he didn’t know the half of it. In the last few weeks, Grant and I have had a baby, a graduation, a wedding (Grant’s sister Hannah), a vacation, a new job, and our three-year wedding anniversary! The man laughed and said, “Did you move too?!” Thankfully we are still living in the same familiar and comfortable place, but we did have the carpets replaced! 😉

I think we Zabriskies must like to get all those major life changes out of the way at once. For example, when I married Grant, we moved (my first time moving away from home), started new jobs, became independent of our parents, and started classes at the Y all within about a month … Oh yes, and embarked on the journey of blissful newlyweddedness at the ages of 20 and 22. I don’t know if smashing all the life changes into a tight period of time is necessarily the best way to go about things, but it certainly makes one feel extraordinarily blessed and a tad bit crazy.

Anyways, now Grant is cheerfully employed full time as a Web Designer for the Harold B. Lee Library, Bracken is five weeks old, Grant has graduated from BYU with his bachelors, we had a wonderful trip up to Washington state to see Hannah sealed to her best friend and sweetheart Ken (Hannah made every second of the car ride up with a fussy newborn worth it with how incredibly happy and beautiful she looked that day), and we celebrated three wonderful years since our own wedding day.

Here again is a conglomeration of pictures in no particular order of these events:

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Well maybe now that I can blog from my phone, I’ll feel more inspired to update. Microblogging is just so much easier.

Five weeks ago, as those who follow me elsewhere will know, we added another member to our family. Mr. Bracken Dale Zabriskie was born 7 lbs 15 oz (a weight he had added generously to in the time since then) and 21 inches long with a shock of long blonde hair that delights everyone who sees it. We’ve spent the last month getting to know our cheerful little guy. He has been endowed with several endearing nicknames, among them are: Brack, Brackie, Lil Bracko, Mr. Man, Darling, and Little Boy Blue.

Some favorite expressions of his enthusiastic and loving aunts and uncles are “What’s crackin’ Bracken” and “Release the Bracken” (see Pirates of the Carribbean).

Here are some favorite photos of our expressive little guy (not in order of when they were taken. Sorry, that’s too much work) …

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More to come on the labor story and our summer happenings.

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