Several New Firsts for Luke

I was going to do lots of little posts for these milestones, but then I decided it would be easier to just do one long post, have one long "my little boy is growing up" cry and just get it over with.

Luke's First Beach Trip
Steven, Luke and I went to the beach with the whole fam damily the first week of August. Our entourage included my mom and step-dad, Steven's parents, 2 of Steven's grandparents and Steven's sister. Imagine us all crammed in a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath house.

left to right: Nana (my mom), Luke, Nona (Steven's mom)

Luke has already logged lots of hours in a swimming pool this summer, but this was his first time with the ocean. As I expected, he LOVED IT! In fact, he was such a big fan that after we thought we were done playing Luke turned around and walked back toward the water, dragging me with him!

wading out with Nona

"swimming" with Papa

"swimming" with Nona and Papa

If you'll notice, Papa (my step-dad) was the only one smart enough to put on a bathing suit before heading out to the water. Luke wasn't content to stay ankle-deep so everyone ended up getting pretty wet.

While we were at the beach Luke had some other mini-milestones:
- Finally getting the hang of solo walking. He is now an official toddler. He can, and will, walk wherever he darn well pleases.
- Cutting back teeth. Before the beach trip he had 6 front teeth (4 top, 2 bottom) but he started cutting some bottom molars and they are almost all the way in now.
- He had a first experience with lots and lots of new foods. He was particularly a fan of ham, shrimp and meatballs. My carnivore husband couldn't be happier.
- Playing putt-putt. OK, he didn't really play. He watched Steven hit the ball, ran after it, picked it up and dropped it in the hole. Not exactly playing by the rules, but he got more out of it that I was expecting. Plus, it was SUPER CUTE.

Also along for the trip we had 5 laptops, 4 ipads, 3 kindles, 5 iphones, 2 droid phones, 4 digital cameras. And a baby cell phone. So there were chargers and cords running EVERYWHERE. So yeah, it was the perfect environment for some experimental toddling.

clockwise from top-left: Nana's kindle, Daddy's ipad, Luke's "cell phone," Mommy's kindle, Aunt Tina's ipad, Nona's iphone
camera picture, courtesy of Papa

While on this trip, Luke learned many important beach skills, such as how to move seashells from one bucket to another, how to get as much sand as possible in your swim diaper, how to splash in the surf and how to watch last week's Project Runway on the ipad. That last one is very important.

We also stopped by Fort Macon one evening for a quick family photo shoot, courtesy of our resident photographer Aunt Tina (Steven's sister).

Pictured: Luke's first minor felony. Ssh, don't tell.

But don't worry, Steven and I had some baby-free time, too. There were more than enough people to spoil watch Luke so we were free to forget we were parents lounge on the beach in peace in the afternoons. We also took a guided kayak tour to see some inter-coastal wildlife, rented jet-skis and had a movie date.

Luke's First Word
On Sunday after we got home Luke said his first word - cat! It was so exciting! Steven was reading Luke a vocabulary book - you know, no plot just 1 picture and 1 word per page - and Luke repeated "cat" after Steven read it. Then, our cat Yo-Yo walked into the nursery and Luke said "cat, cat!" I've had a feeling that his first word would be "cat" or "kitty" because he's always so much more animated when the cats are around. He's also starting to get the hang of bye-bye, Mama, Dada and gone.

Luke's First Swim Lesson
One of Luke's birthday presents was parent-child swim lessons. We've been to two lessons so far and he's doing well. He's not actually swimming, but the emphasis is on beign comfortable in water. I think we've more than got that covered (see above). The instructor encourages the parents to fully dunk the babies underwater every few minutes, so we play along. Luke always gives us a dirty look afterward, but he has yet to cry or scream so he's doing better than some of his classmates.

Whew, that's a lot of milestones! I feel like before I know it I'll be writing about Luke's first date or his first driving lesson!

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