One of the random side effects/symptoms of pregnancy, is bloody noses. Weird, right? Of course there's a totally logical reason for it, but it's still an annoying and odd thing to have to deal with among all the other changes your body is going through. One of the suggestions that doctors give you to deal with them, is to get a humidifier. A humidifier also happens to be one of the only things you're able to use to treat a cold, which I came down with this past week.
So off to the store we went last weekend to buy a cool mist humidifier. We'll likely need one for the baby anyway, so it seemed like a smart investment. I used it mostly at night, and it was actually working! I think I only had one bloody nose this week (trust me, that's a huge improvement) and my cold passed pretty quickly too. I was hooked.
Until 2am the other night. When the fire alarm went off. It's always in the middle of the night isn't it? Not 6am, or 11pm... it had to be 2 o'clock. I was in the middle of a dream that happened to take place at my parents house, so when the alarm went off, my first thought was "What house am I in, who is with me, and who's in charge?" It's funny, because you spend so much of your life deferring to the 'adult' and then one day you wake up and realize that you're the adult. I quickly remembered where I was, and that only Tom and I were in the house. I got up, switched on my light, grabbed my glasses, and switched off my humidifier (I think even then I had an idea that might have been the problem, but I wasn't about to write off the alarm yet).
Tom was half sitting up in bed, looking confusedly at me. "GET UP!" I yelled at him, which put him into a bit of action, and he managed to at least get out of bed. I started racing through the house, flipping on lights, looking for anything out of the ordinary. On the main floor of our house things were looking okay, but I wasn't ready to completely write off the alarm. Tom opened the door to the basement and looked down, and said things looked okay. "Nope, go down and actually look at everything." I told him, as I headed back upstairs for a secondary check of all the bedrooms and even went up to the attic. (Which let me know that we have no smoke detectors in the attic - I'll put that on the list of future improvements..)
At this point I had decided that there was no fire anywhere in the house, despite the alarm constantly alerting "Fire, fire" at us. New alarms are so weird. I don't think I've ever had an alarm that talks to me before. Does it have other phrases it would say? Does it say "Carbon monoxide" or "Gas leak" if it detects something else? [I've since been told that it does!] Was the beeping not enough? I don't know anyone that doesn't know what the sound of a fire alarm means. I didn't really need this oddly calm voice specifying that there was a fire somewhere. Also I'm not sure why, but I decided it was the same voice as the lady that tells you "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again." Do kids even get that reference anymore? Is that recording part of cell phones? Did I just make myself sound old?
Back to the problem at hand, we were certain there was no fire at this point, but we still had a very loud alarm going off, and needed to figure out how to stop it. Our friends had just had a similar problem recently, where they ended up calling the fire department to come help them. The fire fighters ended up telling them that using sub par batteries can cause the alarms to go off, so I figured we should check our batteries. Tom started downstairs and moved to the basement, checking the alarms, while I went back upstairs.
Once upstairs, I noticed that all the bedrooms were flashing green lights, while our bedroom detector was flashing green and red lights. I called Tom upstairs and told him that I thought our bedroom was the problem. He took it apart, but there was no battery inside. Instead he pushed the hush button (which he'd tried on every other detector and had no success), and all of a sudden the house went quiet. And with that, we made it through our first 'emergency' in our new house.
We still have the issue to solve of how to run a humidifier without setting off the detectors in the future (it was already as far away from the detector as possible, and only run a few hours day), but at least we solved the mystery for now.