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"I just love to hold her," Martinez, 28, tells PEOPLE of the little girl he and his girlfriend, Diana Gonzalez-Jones, welcomed on May 2. "I kiss her non-stop all day long."

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 02, 2020 03:54 PM
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Former Dancing with the Stars champ J.R. Martinez is showing off something much more beautiful than the mirror ball trophy he took home last November — his newborn daughter Lauryn Anabelle.

“I just love to hold her,” Martinez, 28, tells PEOPLE of the little girl he and his girlfriend, Diana Gonzalez-Jones, welcomed on May 2. “I kiss her non-stop all day long.”

In PEOPLE’s June 18 issue, the Iraq war veteran says that despite being raised by a single mom, he’s adjusting to his new role as a father nicely.

“The minute she was born I was like, ‘This is where I’m meant to be.’ I felt excitement and love and it was all about her,” he says.

“I’ll be holding her and think, ‘This is my daughter’ — it’s language I’m still getting used to.”

As for first-time parenting horror stories of messy feedings, dirty diapers and long, sleepless nights — Martinez says he doesn’t have any.

“It’s been easy so far,” Martinez says of his little bundle, whom he and Gonzalez-Jones have nicknamed Belle. “She’s eating, sleeping six, seven hours a night. It’s crazy!”

For more on Martinez’s foray into fatherhood, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on Friday.

— Monica Rizzo