Hey, at least you’re wife has a phone! Mine refuses to get one… though on our recent vacation she had fun texting some of her friends/co-workers, so you might be thinking of getting one.
I’ve got an Android Nexus 7 that I’m going to use as a sort of a ‘remote’ for our setup.
That said, I have looked as some z-wave remotes. I’d be curious if some of the GE ones might work given that they’ve success with other GE/Jasco products:
Both are reasonably cheap, especially the one without the LCD display, and provide a number of options.
I imagine remotes are a lot harder to get working with systems other than that with which they were originally designed though. I would venture to guess it isn’t a simple, standardized command setup but particular to each vendor… and probably not publicly published either.