Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fire Drill Fail

The fire department recommends families should practice a home fire drill every three months.  Since having kids, we have had (maybe?) three home fire drills.  Those few times we have actually planned a family fire drill, we have all gotten outside quickly and efficiently.  We have met at the mailbox and applauded ourselves on just how safe we were.

That was until last Thursday night.  If Fire Drills were graded, we would have received an F!  For some unknown reason at 3:00AM, our amazingly loud, painful-to-the-ears, alarm started going off. Scott and I burst out of bed in complete confusion.  MAKE THAT SOUND STOP!!!

1-Minute Mark: We had just installed a home security system, which was having tons of issues, so I immediately thought it was the culprit.  I tap in the code, the screen says "Alarm Disabled." The ringing just keeps blaring!!!  I type the code again, and again, and again.  Absolutely, no luck!  MAKE THAT TERRIBLE SOUND STOP!!!

5-Minute Mark:  Scott screams at me over the horrible beeping, "Do you think it's the fire alarm?"  That is when we both take a moment to actually listing to the noise.  In between, the excruciating beeping, a voice is also screaming "FIRE." Why are we such idiots that we didn't hear it yelling "fire?"  MAKE THAT HORRIBLE SOUND STOP!!!

15-Minute Mark: Jaley and Sarah are up.  Yes, it took them that long to wake up.  I usher them outside, to escape the horrible beeping.

20-Minute Mark: Where the heck is Mick?  He is still sound asleep in his bed.  This noise is loud enough to wake the dead, but my son is still snoring away.  I usher him outside, too.  CRAP, MAKE THAT SOUND STOP!!!

25-Minute Mark:  Where did I put the giant stack of owner's manuals the builder gave me when we moved in?  Why didn't I read all those manuals?  Now, with a scarf tied around my ears, I find those manuals and even find the one for a fire alarm.  Why is it for a different brand?  Crap, it is the manual for the fire alarm at our last house. F$@#, MAKE THAT SOUND STOP!!!

30-Minute Mark:  I find the right owner's manual.  Scott hits the button to silence the alarm, and for 30 seconds it is quiet.  Then, it starts again.  F$@#, , F$#@, F$#@, MAKE THAT SOUND STOP!!!

45-Minute Mark:  With ladder in tow, we hit the silence button on every single unit in the house.  The blaring noise continues.  We try to find an answer on Google; no luck.  The blaring continues.  PLEASE GOD, MAKE THAT SOUND STOP!!!

60-Minute Mark:  Apparently, the prayer worked.  The blaring stopped.

So there you have it.  The worst fire drill ever.  It took us 20-minutes to get the kids out of the house and we never got ourselves or the pets out.  What a lesson. The fire department is right, we need to practice more and be ever thankful it wasn't an actual fire.

Beyond our malfunctioning fire alarms, life is running pretty smooth.  The kids were back to school this week.  Middle school, 6th grade, for Sarah.  Kindergarten for Mick. And an upper class, 4th grade, for Jaley.  At the Welcome Back Parent Coffee this morning, the school's safety officer proudly announced they had a successful fire drill yesterday.  They evacuated the entire school (700 people) in 2 minutes, 43 seconds.  I need him to come train at our house.

That is life in MomZania.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Portland - Friends, Flugtag, Falls, and One Funny Train Ride

We just got back from a fast, but fun-filled trip to Portland.  The motivation for and the best part of the trip was seeing our friends, the Millers.  We hadn't seen them since 1999, but some friendships stay strong regardless of the number of years between visits.  Thanks, Amy and Brook.  

While hanging with the Millers, we tried to squeeze in as much of the Portland vibe as we could.  Food carts - definitely.  Hiking through gorges and swimming under waterfalls - absolutely.  Reading books at Powell's - surely.  Enjoying a great micro brew and standing in line to Voodoo donuts - Hell ya.   

Most unusual was the Flugtag.  Don't know what the Flugtag is?  Ask any Red Bull drinking 20-year old.  It is Red Bull's challenge to actually give people wings.  Teams descend upon one lucky city each year with human propelled contraptions with the hope of flying, though none of the teams we saw actually flew.  They just launched off a 30' platform and splashed into the Willamette River with great pomp.  Even without flight it was a fun afternoon of spectactular splashes.  

As with all trips, there is no destination without a journey.  Our journey to Portland may not have been have half the fun, but it was definitely half the funny and a journey we will never forget.  It started with my 'great' idea of taking the overnight train to Portland (Scott needed to work and wisely choose to fly in later).  In theory, the kids and I would board at 8pm and be magically whisked north to Oregon in time for afternoon sightseeing the next day.  Except, it didn't quite play out that way.  It started with a 5-hour delay in San Jose and the kids sleeping in a train station.  Once we finally started rolling came the motion sickness.  Nothing says 6am wake up call, like the sound of a child retching.  With a little medicine, a little food, and a lot of clean up, we all got to feeling better.  Then, came the realization that most of our electronic entertainment wasn't working.  Then, came the broken engine.  Then, came the delays because our late train had to yield to every other train.  Then, came a day with record breaking heat which made the train slow to 40 mph.  And finally, many, many hours late we finally arrived in Portland. While we were ecstatic to be off the train, it was a horribly, hilarious voyage.  We are still laughing about it.

That is life in MomZania.