“Where are your shoes? We’re going to be late… again!” I said to my five year old as I bustled through the living room.
“I’m wearing them,” he replied, concentrating on the castle he was building out of wooden blocks.
“Oh, good. Now where are your sister’s?” I muttered, lifting things up, searching. Finally I managed to find them, one behind the shoe rack, one under the sofa. The bag was packed, lunch, drinks and spare clothes for the baby all ready and waiting by the door.
“OK, all set, let’s go,” I announced in relief. I glanced at the clock to see we would only be fifteen minutes late to their home education group. Two children came running over, eager to go outside into the fresh air. I moved to open the door and saw the keys were not where I had left them.
Little Miss Marmoset, at eighteen months old, has recently developed a fascination with keys, loving nothing better than to take them off to play and then store them somewhere secret and impossible to find. The previous week we had lost them for two days.
Since I was a little girl, one thing has always been guaranteed to reduce me to stressed out tears of utter frustration: losing something important and having to search for it. It all stems from one occasion when I worked incredibly hard on a piece of homework for school, only to lose it.
I can still remember searching through the whole house at midnight, hours before the deadline, the feeling of absolute anxiety and the need to uncover its whereabouts turning me into a sobbing wreck. To this day, I don’t remember if I ever found the work, but I do remember how it felt to search fruitlessly for it.
You would think that someone so stressed out by having to look for things would try and fix this issue by being immaculately tidy and organised, wouldn’t you? However, my nature is to be chaotic and messy. I try to change, but I never make it a priority and habits are hard to break, especially without real dedication.
I make piles of things and leave them around the house. I lose my keys, regularly, and I get angry and upset when I can’t find them.
The previous week we had searched for so long, I eventually announced through a veil of tears that it was too late to go, and took the children out in the back garden to play instead. That day I had to receive a parcel through the living room window, much to the surprise of the delivery driver, because I couldn’t unlock the front door. I had to borrow my husbands keys for the following day until we eventually found mine somewhere obscure.
Realising now that they weren’t where I left them, I felt a sudden rush of despair that our day would be in tatters again. My son, gave me a smile. “Don’t worry Mummy, you can use that new key finder thingy you got for your phone.”
The previous week, (a few days after the sobbing incident!) I had been contacted by a company called Beets BLU and asked if I would be willing to review two of their items. One was a key finder fob, the other was a heart rate monitor, both of which work through apps on your phone.
As someone who loses her keys with as much regularity as I do, this was perfect. I was willing to give anything a go at this point. We had set the fob up over the weekend, attaching it to my keys and connecting it to the app. Now, I am not the most technically minded person, and I must admit I couldn’t figure out what I was doing and how to pair the fob up to the phone application, but my husband took over and told me it was very simple if you had any experience with apps.
I switched on the Bluetooth on my phone, pressed the app and we heard a distant beeping, which my son followed in excitement. Children love these little adventures don’t they? The app can track your keys within a ten meter radius and we live in a pretty small house so it works well for us. We followed the beeping until we located the keys in a little play kettle in a cupboard of the children’s wooden play kitchen. Hurrah!
Since we got the fob just over a week ago, it has been used three times already, always successfully and eliminating the need for stress and tears on my part. I just wish I could have one to attach to my purse, the changing bag, the baby’s shoes and everything else I regularly misplace! Maybe the cat too! The only downside is that the battery can come out quite easily if the keys are dropped, so if my daughter is holding them in the sling and drops them on the pavement, I do have to check the battery hasn’t rolled off, and then put it back together again, which takes two seconds.
Isn’t it funny how such a tiny piece of technology can change your life? If you are someone who, like me, gets upset when you can’t find important things, or just someone who is a little unorganised or outright messy, you need to get one of these. Here is the link to it on amazon.co.uk if you want to go and check them out, and fyi it is currently half price!
The other nifty piece of technology they sent me was a heart rate monitor. Now I believe this is designed for fitness purposes, in which case, I am not the target audience. However, I contacted the company to ask if it was suitable for children, and they replied quickly with a yes, although it would of course depend on how small your child was as to whether it would actually fit them.
You see, though I have no desire to monitor my own heart rate, Little Miss Marmoset has a great need for one of these. As a result of her medical condition (chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction), she regularly contracts sepsis. This can come on in a matter of hours and the two main symptoms which present are a high temperature and a raised heart rate. When she is in full blown sepsis, I can tell just by looking at her. Her breathing is rapid, her skin is on fire and her heart is pounding.
But there are times where, as a teething toddler, she occasionally gets a higher than usual temperature, and we aren’t sure if it is the early stages of sepsis, or just a normal harmless fever. This is highly stressful for us as we don’t know if she is on the verge of a serious and life threatening hospital stay, or just a bit on the snuffly side. Without being able to check her heart rate at home, any uncertainty can mean a long day on the children’s ward as we put her through all the tests needed to rule out anything sinister.
So this little gem was a very welcome gift to our home.
Thankfully, her temperature has been normal and we have had no reason to be concerned about her since receiving the heart rate monitor, but we set it up to give it a test drive anyway and here is what we found.
The belt fits around the chest. On a child it is a bit too big on the tightest setting, but this was easily remedied with a good old hair tie and it stayed snugly in place. It looked to be very comfortable and my five year old wore it happily for a long time. The pads on the belt need to be wet in order for the app to pick up a signal, but we just wiped it with a water wipe so it was a little damp and that was enough to work.
We were unable to get the Beets BLU app to read the device on the first attempt, and despite my husband’s technical wizardry, we couldn’t get it to work. However, we improvised and downloaded a heart rate app from a different company and the belt worked perfectly with it, so other apps are compatible. I will try again with the Beets BLU app and see if we are more successful next time.
Overall, it seems to be a very good product and I think it would be especially good for adults who like to monitor their progress during exercise.
Beets BLU sent me these items free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
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