My first crawling mishap and other California fun

19 months. I made it 19 months without either kid choking. Until yesterday. Thankfully we made it through with a surprisingly small amount of drama. But we'll get to that...
As we haven't made it out here to see Steve's family in four years, we have been running around visiting everyone. I have met people I didn't even know existed in his life. Although as I only recently found out he has 2 step brothers, I didn't find this terribly surprising. I keep saying Steve's family is incredibly functional, and it is, but there is another less normal side to it. His father took off and isn't really part of his life. However, recently his brother's wife, Colleen, has started including his aunts and cousins from that side in their lives, so now I am seeing a whole new side. The two aunts that we met were amazing, unbelievably friendly, and so grateful that we included them in our visit. It was nice to be able to go over there and let them meet out little family.
I always enjoy visiting with Steve's family. They are so much fun, and, very unlike my own family, don't seem to have to work very hard to like each other. They all give each other a hard time, love dredging up old memories and good times. I always laugh, even when I have heard the stories a million times.
The only downfall has been spending so much time in non-childproof houses. Grandma here is used to kids, but the aunts we visited were not. I think their grand kids are older, so they don't have to worry as much. Even with 6 eyes, it seems that we made quite the error watching two mobile terrors. We got in the car after an otherwise wonderful visit filled with lots of cookies and laughter. In the car, Ariana started coughing, then she started screaming. She hasn't been feeling all that well, so the coughing wasn't terribly surprising. I tried to calm her, but she became increasingly inconsolable. And then I caught a glimpse of something strange. I can't say exactly what I saw, but it prompted me to stick my finger in her mouth where I felt something sharp. I hollered up to Mona to stop the car, which she quickly did. I donned my red cape, pulled her out of her seat, and dug around until I could get the little piece of plastic out of her throat. Ok, so it wasn't exactly life threatening, but it still got my heart racing. Surprisingly to me, I was able to keep my cool under pressure better I thought. I think Steve was actually more stressed than I was, but that could be because he was in the front seat and couldn't really get in on the action as his precious daughter started gagging and I tried desperately to get a grip on something slippery. Anyway, crisis averted and a few minutes later we were back on the road, both girls happily munching away on a cookie.
Ah, the mama life. Hope everyone is having a happy Christmas. Or January for those not way behind!

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