It is here, my baby has turned into a toddler. A few days ago she took her first true, not-falling steps, and I was overcome with happiness and my-baby-isn’t-a-baby-anymore sadness all at once. I feel so proud! At three months old, I never thought we would make it to this point, but we did! It must have been a miracle. We all grew so much in this short amount of time, I am absolutely dumbfounded.

Let me tell you something. Having your first baby is hard. So, so very hard. People tell you while you are pregnant, but you have absolutely no idea until you take them home. Maybe you are imagining a movie-baby like I was? A tiny, beautiful, cooing sweetie that immediately sleeps through the night, and smiles at the camera. The reality is that they look like little old men, and they cry, sleep, eat, poop, then repeat. My baby cried for 8 hours straight one time. I was franticly checking her temperature, seeing what hellish bit of clothing was pinching her, trying to feed her and comfort her… ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, but nothing worked. Then I handed her to my brother in law so I could regroup, and she sat quietly in his lap and smiled at him. At that moment I realized, she probably just wanted me to leave her alone, and stop poking her with things, and putting boobs in her face.

It is such a blessing that I am friends with Nolie’s pediatrician. I text her all the time with the most ridiculous questions. I actually believed Nolie had West Nile Virus at one point. This is obviously a more rational thought than a stuffy nose from a common cold. Another time, she used her tiny baby super strength to pry off the top of a paint can. I was gone 20 seconds, and walked around the corner to find her elbows deep in white paint. She was laughing and having the time of her tiny life, and I was certain she was minutes from death. I jumped into the shower with her fully clothed, sobbing while she giggled and played with the water. She didn’t eat any, but you better believe I inspected every diaper with fear and determination. Recently, she started sleeping in her crib at night. The first time she made it more than five hours, I woke up panicked, certain that she had stopped breathing. This is obviously a more rational thought than her still being asleep at four o’clock in the morning. My pediatrician laughs and reassures me that I am not the worst mother of all time, but I’m pretty sure she tells everyone that.

Maybe the paranoia is genetically ingrained for first timers? I honestly don’t know how babies would survive otherwise. I honestly don’t know how parents survive, either! It has been amazing, and eye opening, and transforming. My heart is so full, I could never have imagined.

Along with walking, she has been drinking from a straw and eating anything you set in front of her. She might be a quarter Mexican because she loves tacos and avocado! She is trying to command the spoon, but mostly just makes a big mess. She is always dancing, and especially loves oldies! I am actually shocked by her amount of rhythm. She is eleven months old, and she drops it like its hot! So funny!

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