Happy Holidays from the Bricker Family!

This was supposed to be titled, “We’re Thankful for Our Readers,” but I got tied up (not literally) on Thanksgiving and I’m not sure that title is still technically legal three days after Thanksgiving. Alas, the joys of being a new parent! 

As we sit down for a traditional Sunday-after-Thanksgiving dinner of Wood Fired Naples Pizza and Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s Ice Cream from Trader Joe’s, we’re reflecting on the things for which we’re thankful. And one of the big ones, quite honestly, is the readers and commenters of Disney Tourist Blog.

We’ve mentioned this before in a few other posts since sharing our pregnancy announcement, but we want to once again reiterate it and try to express our earnestness. We are absolutely astounded and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support that you have shared in response to all of our news. This isn’t perfunctory praise or insincere sentiment, like a band shouting “we love [insert city they’re in].” We really and truly mean this, from the bottom of our hearts.

We are thankful for all of you. We’ve been grateful for the joy and happiness you’ve shared for and with us, and frankly humbled that you actually care to read and comment on stories about our personal lives that are wholly unrelated to Walt Disney World or Disneyland vacation planning.

As we mentioned a while back, we really didn’t know what would happen when putting ourselves out there with the original pregnancy news. Would we open ourselves up to potentially painful critique or second-guessing? Were we oversharing? Would anyone actually even care, or would it be a TMI situation? In the end, we couldn’t have prepared ourselves for the positive and uplifting response, but I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised–you all rock.

With all of these posts, we’ve stressed out over what to share and what to leave out. This has been the ‘category’ of content that gets the most second set of eyes editing and, in theory, should have the fewest typos as a result. The rest of this blog is stream-of-consciousness (not that this isn’t) presented without much of a filter. Thankfully, that is now also becoming more true of this type of post as we’ve gotten more comfortable sharing, and you all prove time and time again that you’re great people.

This was once again the case with last month’s news, Meet Megatron: Baby Bricker is Born! Many of you responded and, once again, conveyed an outpouring of kind congratulations messages and shared in our excitement. I mentioned it in the comments there at one point, but we read every single one of your comments here and messages elsewhere. All of them fill up our hearts; some of them fill our eyes.

We are so incredibly appreciative of your support. It’s still kind of wild to us how sincere you all are in sharing excitement and joyousness for two people (well, I guess three people now!) who you’ve “only” met online. Your words mean the world to us–probably far more than most of you will ever know. Thank you so, so much.

It is also worth emphasizing the intensity of the air quotes around “only” above. You are all part of the DTB family, and we mean that. Chatting with people in the comments here, especially those of you who we’ve gotten to “know” (again, air quotes) over the years can feel like talking to old friends.

We truly are thankful to have the best and most thoughtful readers. That may seem like a trite platitude, but we really mean it. We’re so fortunate. Spend any amount of time browsing the comments section here versus most other websites and you’ll see the contrast. There’s a reason why the first rule of the internet is never read the comments. 

Thankfully, that has never applied with you all. As we reflect this weekend on all the ways we’re grateful, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop and share a very sincere and heartfelt thank you. Again. You all deserve a round of applause.

As long as we’re on the topic of thankfulness, I thought I’d share a quick Baby Bricker and family update in the form of other things for which I’m thankful.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for Sarah. She continues to be an absolute rockstar, even more so than when she was pregnant. As it turns out, taking care of a baby isn’t just a full-time job. Those are only 40-some hours per week, whereas this is 24/7. Unfortunately, Megatron doesn’t even give us weekends or holidays off! And actually, this isn’t a job at all–it’s more like volunteer work…that we’re paying to do?! (Starting to seem like we got a raw deal here…maybe I’m just bad at business, but I’d take that offer again in a heartbeat!)

Sarah is up at all hours. She’s doing it all. I don’t know when the last time was that she got ~3 hours of uninterrupted sleep, but definitely not this month, and probably not last either unless it was the very beginning. I am in absolute awe.

For whatever it’s worth, I try to pull my weight and do what I can to help with the baby. I change her. I carry her around. I rock her. I read to her. I do tummy time, and sometimes serve as the mat for it. I take endless photos of her (not helpful per se, but hopefully important).

But as a practical matter, there are limitations on what I’m able to do as contrasted with Sarah. When Megatron starts crying, there are only two things she wants, and I don’t have those.

And when Sarah is done with all of this, and it’s time for us to go on a family walk, guess what? Sarah insists that she wear Megatron so that she can get stronger and healthier. Like all of the great rockstars, Sarah is arguably a little too “hardcore.”

Speaking of wearing Megatron, I’m thankful for our BabyBjörn Baby Carrier. If you followed the pre-birth saga, you might’ve seen that I was “cautiously optimistic” about baby wearing, despite receiving countless words of warning from friends and family against it. Given that, I tried to contain my enthusiasm and not get ahead of myself because every baby is different, she might not like it, we might not like it, etc. etc.

All three of us love it. We have yet to use our stroller.

While that’ll likely change when we visit Disney for the first time (we’re already counting down the days!), so far we’re perfectly comfortable wearing Megatron for hours at a time. Of course, she’s only ~12 pounds now, so there is that.

The surprise twist (to us) is that Megatron is the biggest babywearing enthusiast among us. When she’s not crying for her two favorite things, being worn almost always calms her. Well, being worn…and moving.

That’s a pretty big asterisk, but you know what, we’re okay with it. We’re able to do work while baby wearing (so long as we sway in place). We’re able to watch movies together while baby wearing (so long as one of us circles the room like a shark). We’re able to eat an uninterrupted dinner (so long as it’s before 5 p.m. and one of us stands). It’s awesome, really.

Speaking of which, I’m thankful for standard time–also known as “winter time.” I’ve always been a Daylight Saving Time hater, and for good reason. There’s too much daylight. No need to “save” it. We have lists of the Top 10 Magic Kingdom Rides at Night and Top 10 Disneyland Rides at Night, but no lists of the best rides during daytime. And you know why? Night is better. It’s just science.

In any case, I’m thankful for regular time because it helps put an end to the witching hour and allows us to go to bed at, like, 7 pm.

On the other hand, I am very much not thankful for the witching hour. I knew this was “a thing” but also kind of figured it was overblown. It’s also possible that I had hoped or assumed that we’d have the perfect baby and some of the bad things other parents experience wouldn’t happen to us.

Well, our little angel is perfect…except during this time of day “when demons, monsters, and other horrifying supernatural creatures are at their most powerful and wicked.” (European folklore’s words, not mine.) Suffice to say, whatever awful things you’ve heard about the witching hour…it’s true, all of it.

Next, I’m thankful for the Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet, slayer of the witching hour.

We debated buying this thing for weeks due to its high price and polarized reviews. After much deliberation, we splurged during the summer sale on a certified ‘pre-loved’ sleeper, knowing we could resell it for pretty close to what we paid.

It has been a godsend for us–we’re absolute true believers. In general, it’s absolutely wild to me how much technology exists that has made being a new parent easier than it used to be. We have older friends and family telling us stories of strapping a car seat to the dryer (is that safe?), driving around in snowstorms (same question?), and doing other questionable things that are just a complete non-issue for us.

Honestly, it feels kind of like we’re going through this with cheat codes–a GameShark for parenting–and it reminds me of traveling internationally in the era of mobile phones with Google Maps and translate apps. The really crazy thing, though, is that this is still really difficult! Even with the cheat codes! It’s like Elden Ring, but 24/7/365…and much more rewarding!

We’re also thankful that our miniature dachshund, Walter E. Dogsney, can no longer hear. Now this might seem harsh, but hear me out. Walter is mad at the world. He’s upset at anyone or anything that would dare encroach upon his kingdom or threaten his family. Walter’s list of enemies is as long as it is diverse, encompassing such threats as the vacuum, our neighbors, any visitors to our home, all birds, reflections, FaceTime, and much more.

Walter has, historically, hated children. They move too much, and too fast. He has also not been a huge fan of anything that comes between him and us. His anger is surpassed only by his anxiety, so we were understandably a bit worried and had spent a few months this summer “weaning” him off Sarah just in case.

He’s been totally okay. He gets along with his sister just fine. This assuredly would not be true if he could hear her. Naturally, we talk for Walter in dog voice, and “he” often obliviously comments about how quiet she is. Unlike all of you, he is a big fan of Genie, and someday dreams of breaking into it and having a fancy feast.

We similarly thankful that Yossarian the Cat is scared of his sister. Judging by his reactions to her, he can hear perfectly fine, and is terrified of the little noisemaker we brought home last month. He definitely prefers the vacuum.

We weren’t as worried about Yossarian since his baseline attitude is indifference, but there was a little trepidation that he would sit on her. Yossarian is a big fan of anything that’s warm, and likes nesting…pretty much everywhere. So there were some concerns that he might nest on the baby. He doesn’t go anywhere near her.

Fortunately for Yossarian, his good friend the Christmas tree is back. So he spends much of his time trying to climb that, trying to eat that, trying to bat at ornaments on that, and getting yelled at for doing all of the above.

Most importantly, we’re thankful to have a baby who is doing well.

Our girl loves to eat, and is growing at an astonishing rate. Could be a world record. The pediatrician seems slightly less impressed than me, but she does agree that Megatron is doing a good job eating. I’ll take that a step further and say that Joey Chestnut better watch his back!

Our hearts continue to grow every morning when she wakes up with a smile on her face, waving her arms all around, just elated to be here. The way her mouth slowly opens wider and wider, and she laughs for no particular reason whatsoever–vibin’ on life–is incredible. Words cannot do it justice. When she wakes up is our favorite part of our day, every single day, and judging by her reaction to seeing mom and dad for the first time each morning, she feels likewise.

Her unbridled sense of happiness and excitement every time she discovers something new around her is contagious. We didn’t think it was possible to love her any more, but it keeps happening. We can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Every day is a blessing.

Finally, we’re thankful for our families. That they’ve been so helpful and supportive and genuinely excited for us and Megatron. We are second fiddle to her now, but that’s okay, because she is more adorable than us.

Above all else, we’re thankful to be so loved, to have a healthy and happy family, and to get to spend this holiday season with our new baby. We never expected to be in this position a year ago–wow, how quickly things change–and we absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world. We hope you likewise had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends, and have a happy holiday season!

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Any thoughts you have in response to our latest update on Baby (Girl) Bricker? Anything else you’re interested in reading about with regard to Megatron, babies in the parks, etc? (Again, we don’t know how much we’re going to feel comfortable putting ourselves and our child out there, so we’d greatly appreciate you granting us grace and patience as we find our footing and prepare to be parents!) Hearing your feedback is always appreciated, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

154 Responses to “Happy Holidays from the Bricker Family!”
  1. Kate December 21, 2023
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