My son wants a quadcopter

A couple of weeks ago, my son and I were just messing around the house, and CNN was on the TV.  I was in the other room and heard “Mom, come here quick, you gotta see this!”.   That usually means he wants something, and I’m going to spend the money.

CNN was running a feature on Drones, and specifically these 4 bladed helicopters called quadcopters.  You’ve probably seen them on the news yourself or maybe even read about them.  They’re becoming incredibly popular, if not somewhat controversial.   I had to laugh, as they even mentioned some teen age kid that was flying his along the beach, and filmed some male nudist.  Some lady got all upset about it and called the kid a pervert.  The poor kid, he didn’t even know the guy was there, let alone knew it was a nudist beach.

Most of these remote controlled quadcopters are expensive, as in $500.00 or more.  Remember, Single Mom here!

I explained to my son that I just could afford one of those, but that I would look into it.  Turns out, they’re not all expensive, just the really nice ones.  I found a number of these toy “quadcopters” available for sale online and at the local Frys.  These are more “toy” versions, but still really sophisticated.  I wanted to find the best quadcopter for the money, and didn’t want to spend more than about $50.00 or so.  I ran across a site called DroneBuff while searching around, that shows all of the available drones for sale and offered reviews for many of them.

Hubsan_X4I found a few models that were in my price range, and ended up buying him a “Hubsan X4 quadcopter” as a surprise.  It came the other day.   I bought the Hubsan as the reviewers said it was very durable, easy to fly, and had lots of replacement parts available.  I looked out on Amazon as well, and the thing had over 500 reviews, and almost all of them positive.  That was enough for me, so I ordered it.

We opened the box together, charged it up and read the manual.  Then he took is first flight!  It lasted all of about 5 seconds and crashed.  Turns out, these little quadcopters take a bit of practice to learn to fly.  I still can’t do it, but he’s getting really good at it.

I think I made a really good purchase decision.  He’s crashed that little bugger more times than I can count and it’s still flying like the first day we bought it.  We did have to replace one of the propellers, as it broke running into the kitchen cabinets.  But fortunately it came with a few replacements, and replacing them was easy to do.

I think we’ve set a new trend, as now all of his friends want one too.  It really is a neat little toy, and keeps him busy.  He’s already asking to get one of the other models available.  Who knows, maybe this will turn out to be a really good hobby for him.


Annual Physical and a Surprise

I went to the doctor today to get my annual physical.  I’ve been a bit lax about taking care of myself over the past few years, and vowed that this year would be different.  I’ve made plans to go the dentist and get a physical.

Today was physical day. No, not a “female physical” but a regular family doctor physical.  The gyno physical is in a few weeks.  Can’t wait …

I dropped the kiddo off at a friends house, and headed to the doctors.

I forgot how much I hate going to the doctor.   The smell, the waiting, the people hacking and coughing around you.  Not fun.  The waiting was particularly bad this time.  I ended up waiting about 30 minutes past my appointment before they even called me back.  Then another 20 minutes waiting on the doctor.

The nurse had taken some information before the doctor came in, and took all my vitals.  She didn’t say anything about my blood pressure, so I assumed everything was ok.

The doctor walks in, and after some initial pleasantries says “Have you had high blood pressure readings before?”  Not a good way to start.   I have had high blood pressure readings before, too many times.

She began the physical.  Fairly routine stuff, except for the blood work she wanted to run.  Its been a while since I’ve had blood work done, so I was certainly due for it.  Not that it makes it any more fun.  I don’t like needles much.  Fortunately the lab tech was good at her job.

The doctor felt pretty confident that it was ‘”white coat syndrome” but wanted me to monitor my blood pressure at home for a month, and then come back.  She also mentioned I could use to lose a few pounds, as I was a little over my “ideal weight”.  Of course that was her nice way of saying that I’m way over my ideal weight.  She’s right of course.  Not something you like to hear, but the truth is the truth.

I would love to get some time to exercise, but frankly it’s just not an option right now.  I barely have anytime to do much as it is.  Guess I’ll need to start watching what I eat a little more.

Finding a blood pressure monitor

When I got home, I went online to find a blood pressure monitor, per the doctor’s orders.  To my surprise, there are actually a bunch of different home blood pressure monitors on the market.  My doctor recommended the Omron brand, which I looked at first.  I read a ton of blood pressure monitor reviews and ran across this new blood pressure monitor that works with my iPhone by Withings.  Here it is on Amazon.

After reading the reviews on Amazon, and doing a little more Google searching on it, I ended up buying it.  Should be here in a few days.  I’m really hoping this is all for nothing, and that my blood pressure at home is normal.

The last thing I need on top of everything else that’s on my plate is high blood pressure.  Although, with all of the stress, and lack of sleep I’ve been under for the past 2 years, it wouldn’t surprise me if I had high blood pressure.  I seem to recall it runs in my family as well.  I’ll have to ask my Mom about it.

I’ll keep you posted…

Bed Bugs vs Single Mom

bed-bug-communityAs if being a single mom isn’t enough.  I have to work a full-time job, run my son back and forth to sports, keep the house clean, deal with home maintenance issues and do the finances.   Oh, and I almost forgot, I do have to sleep sometime in between all of that.   But now, I have a big ugly problem.

We have bed bugs!

It started with my son complaining of bites on his arms, then his legs, and then his back.   Being a boy, he likes to play outside I just assumed it was mosquito bites.  I was ready to go buy some of those plants that repel mosquitos.  Then I started having bites on my legs, and then my back.  That’s when I began to suspect something else was up.

I went online and found photos of bed bug bites, and realized ours looked awful similar.  See, bed bugs bite you as the move around on your body, so the bites are in lines, like stepping stones.  Both his and mine looked like that.   I ran across a site ( that has lots of photos, and even tips for bed but detection and treatment.

I followed the detection steps, and found bed bugs in my bed and his.  Not a lot, but enough to alarm me.

I called a few local pest removal companies, who wanted to charge me anywhere from $500 – $1000.00 for an initial assessment and treatment!   I’m a single mom, I don’t have that kind of money!

Single Mom becomes an exterminator!

I went back to the bed bug treatment site, and read over there treatment steps.  I decided to try getting rid of them myself using a combination of available sprays they recommended, and using a bed bug steamer that I bought from  Fortunately it worked, at least so far.

I had to do the treatment 3-4 times.  I haven’t seen any bed bugs in two weeks, and my son and I are bite free.  Here’s what I did:

  1. I completely cleaned out both rooms.  I took everything except the furniture and mattresses outside, and inspected everything closely for bed bugs.  I sprayed everything sprayable with a bed bug spray.
  2. I washed all of our linens, curtains, and clothes in hot water.
  3. I used the bed bug steamer on all of the furniture, walls bed and mattresses.  I even steamed the carpet and moldings.  This took a long time.
  4. I then sprayed the furniture, carpet and mattresses with bed bug spray.  Make sure you follow the directions.

Important note: Always steam first, then spray.  If you spray first, the steam can cause the spray to go airborne and be very dangerous.

I ended up doing the steaming and spraying about 3-4 times over the course of about 2 weeks.  My son and I slept in the living room.  I also purchased bed bu mattress covers and pillow covers for both of us.

Bed Bug Free!

It’s been almost 4 weeks since the last treatment, and so far no bed bugs that I can see.   I’ve moved everything back into the rooms as well.

I’m not really sure where they came from or how we got them.  I wish I knew.  BUT, I feel great that I was able to treat the problem myself, and save myself thousands of dollars.