It's been so long since my last baby reached the milestones all parents watch for. I had forgotten how fast the first year goes and how very cute each little step really is. I think sometimes as Moms we tend to get frustrated in the beginning and wish those hard times away. Like the feedings every 2 or 3 hours that last a half hour each making it feel like you're constantly attached to this little tiny thing. And those days when they want to be held all day when all you want to do is get a load of laundry done. I tried very hard with my littlest one not to wish those days away and to enjoy every new stage, easy or hard. I was sad to have the night-time feedings end and I was sad when he moved into his own bedroom into his "big bed". And I miss the days when I was the only one who could feed him. I was extremely sad when he decided he didn't need mommy's milk anymore. My tiny little boy on strike from the only thing he knew for 9 months. That may have been the single hardest time of his young life for me. One stage I certainly didn't wish away. While I couldn't leave him for more than a few hours at a time, I enjoyed nursing immensely. We so enjoyed watching him roll around the house. He got where he wanted just by rolling, but it didn't last long. Next was a sort of commando crawl. Watching him get up on all fours was very exciting for all of us. He looked like a little gecko swaying and looking very uncoordinated as he tried to figure it out. He's got these 2 little teeth that he uses to bite everything! He loves to chew on paper and now that he's very mobile, he's discovered the dog food. I can see in his face how proud he is of himself when he masters a new skill. I love listening to him say the same thing over and over again..."dada dada dada" even though it's not "mama mama". Sometimes it even sounds like he's saying dada did it. Each new step is so precious. He's so laid back and happy. He's so inquizative, wanting to touch and explore everything he can get his hands on. He has this purple kazoo that he just loves to sing into and we love to listen. He bounces to music and is obsessed with food. Don't try to eat in front of him without sharing, that's when his little temper shows. His newest skill is pulling himself up to a standing position which is why he has a little black and blue on his cheek. It's one stage that's so hard. They learn how to pull up and can't figure out how to get back down so they just kind of fall. We have all mastered the swipe with the finger to the back of his throat to fish out random things he finds on the floor...paper, dog food, legos, lint..anything his little pinchers can pick up. I love the fat hands and rolls on his thighs. I love seeing his little head pop up above the railing of his crib after a nice long nap. I love the smile he gets on his little face when he sees his brothers or his daddy walk throught the door. I love watching him make a bee-line to a person with food. I'm so blessed and I vow to enjoy each and every stage my little vaccuum cleaner goes through, hard or easy.