So Get Out Your Strollers and Jump Around

The Best Answer To That Annoying "So What Do You DO All Day" Question Yet

I snapped this photo as evidence that I Am Getting The Hang Of This Two Kids At Home Thing, slowly but surely. Since reducing Noah's preschool attendance, Tuesdays and Thursdays have not exactly been my favorite or most productive days. But here! Look! The whole still-in-pajamas-thing aside, this is a nice little moment. Two brothers equally intrigued by Elmo videos on YouTube, and no one is crying or whining or jumping on the baby's head. (Full disclosure: that kind of happened yesterday.)


30 minutes later I was performing the Heimlich on Noah, who thought it would be fun to shove an entire fruit bar into his mouth, bit by bit, chewing but not swallowing, forming a golf-ball-sized gooey mass of airway-blocking goodness. And THEN he thought it would be even MORE fun to run away from me when I realized what he'd done and instructed him to spit it out before he choked on it.

And then he choked on it. Not gagging, not gasping, just a few seconds of terrible silence while his eyes bugged out and his mouth hung open and his hands flapped in a panic. And I thanked God for all those painful mornings at my old office when I stood in the kitchen and stared blankly at the Emergency Medical Procedures posters on the wall while waiting for the stupid coffee to brew. I calmly whacked on his back and then thrust up on his belly until we both sat panting on the floor and there was vomit everywhere and the mass formerly known as a fruit bar and I realized it had never even occurred to me to be scared until it was all over and HOLY SHIT THAT JUST ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Noah wanted a hug and another fruit bar. I told him he could have the hug.


Adult supervision required.



ahhh! so scary! glad your mom instincts kicked in and you didn't even panic, yay for coffee making poster reading time!

glad he is ok, and they are too cute watching the screen like that!

Sprite's Keeper

Ugh, the possible choking scenarios scare me all the time. I'm awful about staring down my toddler when she shoves a big piece in her mouth. My mom is even worse and starts reacting before any signs begin. Glad he's okay and glad you used those instincts!


Holy heck that's scary. I'm glad Noah's OK.


My mother once performed the Heimlich on me at a Pizza Hut after I unintentionally inhaled a crouton. I was so embarrassed when the staff remembered us the next time we ate there. I fully took advantage of the CPR and First Aid training offered by the school where I used to teach--maybe some day it'll be my turn to embarrass my son.

And I may or may not on occasion find a video my son wants to watch on YouTube and then let him click on the other videos that come up at the end. (My wife says there's a child-friendly filter that can be put on YouTube. Maybe I'll get around to installing that.)

Mama Bub

I get tears in my eyes EVERY SINGLE TIME there's a choking incident or almost choking incident, whether I'm seeing it or reading it. I can't help it.

dc rowhouse

Obvi: child choking = scary, oh holy hell scary.

The faces Noah and Ezra are making at the end of this posy almost made me wet my pants.


I have successfully (thank GOD!) performed that move too. Yes, very very good the panic does not set in until after.


Congrats on the Heimlich-ing! Not that I doubted you could do it or anything, but it still always makes me proud to hear about people actually doing those (relatively) little things that matter so much. I'm an EMT and teach CPR classes in my community, and have had countless people tell me, "Well, I feel great doing this in your class, but I'm not sure I could do this in real life if I needed to."

But you did. You did exactly what you needed to do, and you were awesome. Go you!

PS. Thank you for the gratuitous baby pictures. I love babies! Yours look so delicious. (In a non-creepy way, I promise.)


My son chocked on a piece of dog food once, without thinking I punched him in the stomach and it came right out. My mom used to teach CPR and she would tell her students that story to show that you dont have to do it perfect. Glad Noah is OK. your boys are beautiful!!!


I had to perform the heimlich on my son about a year and a half ago - he was about 3 I think. It was awful and my mind blanked for a moment. My friend and I looked at each other with real fear and both sprung into action.

UGH. And he still tries to horse around with food in his mouth. And I wonder why I now have white hairs.

Parsing Nonsense

Way to go, chica! You totally just did a super-mom feat of awesome right there, that totally deserves a new pair of shoes, or at the very least a candy bar! Whenever Noah's feeling testy later in life, just tell him, "Whatever, I saved your life. If I hadn't been AWESOME when you NEEDED me, you'd never even get to have these problems."


Wow. Well, at least you know that you handle emergencies extremely well.
Hope the rest of your day is calmer and includes less vomit.

Greg S.

OMG, in the first photo it's like they are the same child at different ages. They have the exact same cheek.

Glad you successfully ended the choking. And that you acted quickly BEFORE you got scared. Yay Amalah!


Isn't it amazing how you don't have time to be scared while its happening? SO glad he is ok.


Scary! Glad everything is okay.


What is up with the little boys and the shoving inordinate amounts of food into their mouths? I think you have inspired me to finally get off my rear and sign up for CPR classes, which I have been meaning to do since pregnant with the little man.

Tracy H

Choking = Scary. Good job. Also scary, the way that laptop seems to be teetering on the edge of the sofa.






Good for you!!

Also, Noah's pajamas are the awesomest.


That is so scary!

And that pic of them is completely adorable.


OMG! We have the same pajamas but in blue in matching 4-yr and 12-month old set for the two boys. They were wearing them together this morning and I just about chewed their little delicious chubby thighs off they looked so cute. Ok the 12-month old has chubby thighs. The 4-yr old has gotten quite boney as of late but I chew away none-the-less.


Noah looks like he is about to PUNCH his little brother in that last photo.

But in a loving way!

Wait...no...not in a loving way at all.


Christ on a bike, how awful. Once I gave Riley a Flinstones vitamin and while it was in his mouth his dad absentmindedly tossed him on his back onto his bed for a nap (uh, it's this Thing They Do, the Toddler-Tossing) and that vitamin went STRAIGHT INTO HIS AIRWAY and for like 5 seconds time stopped and an unworldly nightmare of possibilities yawned before us and John was whacking him on the back and PLURRCCH, out came the vitamin and hey all of a sudden I had like fifty million new gray hairs. Horrible.


Dude, you're supermom! Way to go! So scary.

Also? That last photo is hysterical.


I particularly like Noah's bed head.


and THAT is the perfect answer to 'so what DO you DO all day'. I watch over two precious little humans and make sure they dont choke!

Big Gay Sam

Super Mom! :D


ahhhh, yes. no worries about the big sibling sitting on the baby's head... my sister did that to me when i was a baby and i turned out just fine. college degree, full time job with benefits, decent car, oh... and i'm unwed and pregnant. so there's that. but you've got boys, so nothing to worry about.

also, glad to hear noah has survived the fruit bar incident.


Nice work on the Heimlich thing. PS - Owen has the same pj's as Noah. Too cute.


Had a baby who was, as the pediatrician said, a choker. She is still not allowed hard candy and she is 12. I can totally relate to the supermom moment in which you save their lives a thousand times and then drink wine.


In school (I'm a culinary school student) we spend a lot of time talking about pathogens and other things that can potentially hurt people. But we never spend so much as one minute discussing CPR or anything else that can help an ill or choking customer.

It suddenly dawns on me, it might be a very good idea if we did. Then we can all be heroes, if need be, like you.



I've been doing the You Tube thing for quite awhile now and have no shame in it. FYI you can make the video go full screen, too... it warps it a bit, but then I don't have my three-year-old accidentally clicking on the "adult" spin-off videos on the right side of the screen. It also helps to have a good collection of favorites. Try searching for "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and "The Elephant Song".

nick danger

Wow, to think, when I am waiting for my coffee, I stare at the Mimimum Wage posters, and not the medical alert posters. I hope my kids don't ever get jobs below minimum wage, 'cause then I'll be ready!


Is it just me, or does Ez totally look like he's lifting a cheek to let one rip? Man, he's getting a huge head start on the whole man thing. I bet his man card is in tomorrow's mail!

Your kids are so cute it just kills me. Completely and totally adorable.


I love how suspicious Noah is of Ezra in that last photo.

kim at allconsuming

That last shot is an absolute classic - the look on Noah's face. The look on Ezra's face - hilarious!

You know, I once took the kids to a farmers' market on the edge of Sydney Harbour and while I spent most of the time panicking that one of them was going to fall into the unfenced harbour when I was taking shots of them enjoying exorbitantly priced bacon and egg rolls (you know, bacon from happy pigs and eggs from happy hens = $$$$$$$) I totally failed to realise that the look on Jasper's face and his actions were indication of totally choking on bacon rind and bread roll and egg and dying now!

Yeah, good times.


Wow, I'm living the same life in an alternative location. Olly choked on a Organix cereal bar in Sainsury's (supermarket) after stuffing it all in his mouth - the orangey gooey mass that he eventually spat out horrified more than one elderly shopper. Olly also jumped on Harriet's head this morning after pretending to kiss her but actually trying to headbutt her. This morning was spent watching In The Night Garden games on the computer. I would like to add that, although there is a little poo escaped from Harriet's nappy, I didn't change her tshirt. And I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!

Thank you for making my day seem normal.


Love choking moments like that. The amazing thing to me is that they are instantly furious over the fact that they now can't have whatever it is that they were choking on. It's like they have no natural instinct for survival - none.


Good job on the Heimlich - how is it that toddlers can understand how to work the remote, program the VCR, totally screw up the laptop (while trying to find new YouTube videos), but cannot understand simple instructions like "Chew and swallow?"

YouTube also lets you create playlists of all your favorite videos - they'll just play one after another, so there's no clicking involved, and you don't accidently end up watching Mickey's Wacky Poophouse Adventure...YouTube is my best friend ever!


Oops, I meant program the DVR... but probably the VCR too!


Hi I've had to perform the Heimlich maneuver quite a few times on my nephews and a once or twice on other peoples kids. It "almost" gets to be routine. The scariest time was when my youngest nephew aged 3 started to choke on a sweet when we were on a boat out in the middle of the sea. Jesus, that was hard, as I had to keep the other kids calm and the boat balanced. The second scariest time was seeing my oldest nephew almost hang himself messing around on his slide. He's 21 now, I should remind him of the times when I was a teenager he tried his best to give premture white hair.


You are my fucking idol. Super Noah Saving Mama! Wow... good for you!

Mama T

Maybe it's only with an infant, but I remember something from my First Aid course about performing the H on kids and having to take them into the hospital to have everything checked out. You might want to see if that's just me spouting stupidity or not.
Good job, saving your kids life though, you win a big, well-deserved glass of vino.

Jen L.

Holy crap! I'm so glad he's ok and even gladder (?) that you knew what to do!

I adore youtube. Dean is a big fan of a classic Sesame Street clip of Madeline Kahn singing with Grover. It has allowed me time to pee many a day.


Whoa! Glad he's OK!

I love the look he's giving his bro in the last picture. It's all, "You are allowed to sit next to me, but don't you DARE touch my toys. Got it?"

Ashley Fitting

Nice work!! Honestly - it's amazing how the instincts kick in. That's the sign of an excellent mother. No panic, only calm.

Love the pics btw... :-)

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

What a frightening experience! The poor little guy must have been so freaked out too =(

I'm glad that everything turned out alright in the end and that there was no lasting harm. Except for the fruit bar, that is.


I had to do the Heimlich on my daughter once at a big family dinner. Someone across the table asked, "Is she OK?" I took one look and knew she wasn't, picked her up out of the high chair, did what I needed to do, put her back in the high chair and sat down next to her again, all without blinking.

Then I lost my shit, and my grandmother had to come pat me on the back until I stopped shaking.

Julie Momster

Hey there - I've been loving your blog ever since I found it a few weeks ago.

It's amazing how those little things - such as staring at Heimlich Maneuver signs or the poster of the FMLA Act or little insert thingie on airplanes - come in so handy when you least expect them to. Good going, Mama!


I think almost every mom has some damn experience like that. The day before my youngests 1st birthday i found hhe was choking on something. was almost turning blue when a few whacks on the back and out came a penny. I couldn't even believe it. But thank god for thoes great mother's instincts!


That was my nightmare right there, what you just went through. I choked on a piece of steak as a kid and full-on lost consciousness. My uncle Heimliched me and I'm sure totally saved my life. I am HYPER paranoid about choking and I still cut everything my daughter (age 4) eats into find-them-with-a-microscope pieces. Good for you for jumping into SuperMom mode. I hope I can do the same if I ever need to, but mostly I hope I never need to!


Oh. My. Fucking. Gawsh.

Opening a bottle of champagne in your honor this evening!


Hooray for SuperMom! I just learned about kideo player website. It just plays (pre-screened) kids videos from you tube in a cute frame. It seems to lean towards educational-ish content like Sesame Street. http://www.kideoplayer.com/

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