S is for Screen (time) & Sleep

Hello Everyone,

Did you watch the Lion King yet?

What team are you on; the team that says, I would not see the new one or remakes of good movies (which I belong to) or the team that says, I do not mind seeing it re-made?

Whatever team you belong to, a big welcome to the blog!

Today, I want to look at screen time. I have a toddler and would very much like to know if I am going to be like my mother and tell him- do not stand too close to the television it might damage your eyes. However, is he not already looking too much into another type of a screen- my cellphone which I let him play on and my old Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet?

I recall growing up and hearing my mother say, do not stand too close to the television, it might damage your eyes! I had often wondered if that was such a thing! Back then there were no computers (that we had at home) and there was no such thing as cell phones or little portable viewing devices. We went outside to play and when we were done, came into the house, ate dinner and went to bed because we were tired.

Here are a few things I have experienced:

I recall when my kiddo Othniel was much younger, and I introduced PJ Masks to him. I used to work nights then and on this weekend, I told myself I was spending time with him so we would watch a kid-related show. I left the show on for a couple of episodes and the mistake I made was we watched this before bed. I am going to tell you, that night was not a restful night for him. He tossed and turned all night long. To test my suspicions I told my husband we should not let Othniel watch any shows before bed for a few nights. Those nights we did not watch any of the shows, he slept good and long and was not cranky. That right then settled it for my, no cartoons before bed!

I found this article about the recommendations from the World Health Organization about no screen time for babies and only 1 hour for children under 5! I learned the hard way but glad to see that this article was out to help parents. If I had known then, I think I would have kept them! A baby or kid who does not sleep means a tired parent or caregiver the next day!

As a working parent, I would say I agree somewhat with the guidelines. There are many ways to interact with my kid after work and bond with him. Screen time is one way but it should not be the only way. When we play outside or take walks, I noticed he goes to bed early and without fuss- which gives me more time at the end of the day to do what I need to do. Or go to bed early to wake up early to do what I need to do for work/school.

With taking classes and working, I have been negligent sometimes of how long and late I leave the TV on or let Othniel play on his screen because I am trying to get something done for school. I was super happy when I saw a poll on Instagram stories done by Total Pickle regarding if we let our kids have screens before bed. This was super exciting for me to see the poll and learn something new. I read from the poll that

  • Late use of screen leads to kids not getting quality adequate sleep which results in mood swings and unpredictable behavior! This is a drop the mic moment for me.

So are screens evil? No, but as parents, I believe it is my responsibility to help my toddler be at his best.

  • I have decided to be intentional about what Othniel watches. When he is on the YouTube app for kids, we put a time limit on it and we go from there.

  • We watch new shows together and if we notice that he is picking up behaviors or attitudes that are not what we want, we address the behavior and that show gets blocked! Parents, we have to be like Mufasa when he went to rescue Simba and Nala from the Hyenas (Yup!, I used Lion King)

Some suggestions from Total Pickle Poll (Check out their Instagram page, it has a wealth of information for parents of young kids 😍

  • Move to earlier in the day, so they have at least an hour to wind down before bed

  • Give your child a short warm bath, and then read a book in a dimly lit room. Both of these will raise melatonin levels which is so important for aiding your child’s restful sleep

  • If you need more information on screen time check out this site

Do you remember the children’s song by Cedarmont Kids called: Be careful little eyes what you see? This might be an old song but it is so applicable to today!

What do I let my child see?

What do I let him hear?

The Father up above is looking down in love…

This is not just for the kids’ it is also for me the kids’ mom who lets him see, hear and watch! What he watches today may affect his tomorrow!

Have a great week friends!

Ezanya

Do Not Get Busted!

In other words, practice what you preach!

Busted in slang terms means being caught in the act. Have you ever been caught doing something you are not supposed to do?

Hello and welcome to the podcast!

My name is Ezanya and this is my podcast!

We have taught our little one to wash his hands after going to the restroom. Recently, I was leaving the restroom and I heard him call out: “Mommy, you did not wash your hands.” I chuckled, came back and washed my hands for him to see.

This put a smile to my face because it meant that what we were teaching him was being practiced and we were trying to practice what we preached.

How often do you hear it said “Do as I say not as I do”? How bad would it be that I teach my son to do something and I turn around and do otherwise? It makes it seem like what I am telling him to do is not important.

If we raise up our kids to just do what we tell them and not what does that say of our character, what kind of kids would they become?

What kind of leaders would they grow up to be? What would their generation be like?

I recall a situation when I was learning about Electron Microscopy so that I could work in the Electron Microscopy (E.M) Department. During the course of my training, I remember the lead telling me not to use ink to write the labels that would go into the plastic blocks. I said OK.

One day, she was off and I was covering for her and I told myself, what would happen if I used ink to make the labels? So, despite my better judgement, I used ink!

I learned the hard way. The ink was washed/dissolved into the plastic and the labels to identify the blocks were not readable. Thank God, I had my own identifiers and I was able to fix the error. This was not a case of do as I say but a case of me not listening. I told the lead what happened and I never repeated that mistake again.

I share all that to say, I am currently part of a team training students going into the field of histotechnology. What type of trainer would I be? I do not want to be busted for showing short cuts to get the job done quickly but the type of person who shares knowledge that is beneficial and applicable too.

Today, the field of histology needs new histotechnologists who are confident, know about the field of histotechnology and are also passionate about what they do.

As an older technologist, it is my honor to share my knowledge and it also reminds me of parenting too. I have been blessed to have learned from some of the best histotechnologists who have been part of my histotechnology journey.

Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Which I will paraphrase to say Train up (my son and the student histotechnologists) in the way they should go; even when they are old they would not depart from it.”

That is one way to stay away from being busted!

So have you ever been busted by your kid? And what did that teach you?

Some Life Lessons I learned from Working

Hello Everyone!

Hope you had a great last week! During the month of July, I am reminded that this month couple years ago, I became certified as a Histotechnologist

I had started working after college and had been given a few months to take the test. I was super nervous and anxious! I recall saying that I did not feel great and one of the pathologists had chuckled and said you are anxious about the test! I still went to the E.R. that was around the corner to be checked out and I was told everything was fine.

I took the test and missed it by a couple of points! I was so nervous, anxiety cost me a few points. I took the test again and the rest is history. This month, a few years later, I celebrate having been certified!😁

Here are some lessons I learned that have helped me and I hope that by sharing them, you would pick up a few things too!

  1. The grass is not always greener on the other side. I have family in Nigeria and I remember when my brother and I came to the U.S it was because of strikes at schools and at the work places. I know people who still work in Nigeria and the payment is late and very low. I am grateful to be able to work and the opportunity to earn money for what I do. Grow where you are planted

  2. Encourage others and be positive. If you have a colleague who does a great job, tell them. You might make their day! Just like a yawn is contagious- do you recall the commercial on TV about people yawning ? You at home starts to yawn too. Encouragement and being positive are contagious- share it

  3. Say Thank you

  4. Do not burn bridges- you would be surprised whom you might have to call for help or to give you that reference you might need when you leave one job for another

  5. Respect yourself and others. I recall how difficult it was to call my colleagues who were older than me by their first names. Coming from Nigeria, we were taught you call people older than you by their job titles or by Uncle/ Aunty (I think most countries colonized by the British do this 🤔-not sure). It took me a long time to call some of my older work colleagues by their first names. So, my American friends, do not take offense if some of your International colleagues take a while to call you by your first name.

  6. Nothing is permanent. I recall that to be certified one used to have to turn in blocks, slides and more. However, today everything is electronic and on the computer and the stains ordered are different too. Being Flexible keeps one learning new things and improves our resumes.

  7. Be Humble. I learned a lot by being humble. I learned from everyone. I learned about having a 401k, saving money and more.

And pray! God can make things possible when we ask Him 👍

You can find me on Instagram and on Twitter and email me at theizorapodcast@gmail.com. Next month, I am celebrating our wedding Anniversary. What would you want to hear about it?

Have a great week and I will catch you on the next episode.

God bless,

Ezanya

Doing Things Well & Excellently

This week, I had a conversation with a loved one that challenged my actions. I was reminded to do things excellently and by doing that it meant doing one thing at a time well.

Are you that person that starts something and rarely finish?

Do you have projects that never end? Are you that person who offers to bake, make a quilt, a scarf or jewelry for a gift and do not finish it? If so, keep listening and if not, share the podcast 😉

Do you often find yourself apologizing for not finishing what you started?

Guys, this is all ME!

What does this have to do with excellence?

Excellence according to the dictionary means the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Starting things and not finishing it is not excellence. To me it is a collection of clutter and a spot for “sacred items” that I tell my husband not to move or touch. I tell myself, I will finish these things and end up not finishing them.

As a parent excellence is important because I am showing my kid it is important to do one thing at a time and do it well and then move on to something else.

To apply excellence to what I have been talking about the past couple of months- potty training- I had to buckle down to make sure my son got it right. The benefits of doing this is that my kid grows up to be the kid who is confident, when he is invited to stuff he will not be afraid or worried about kids teasing him for still wearing a diaper or pull up and so much more.

What else do I need to add to being excellent?

-The road to excellence is not easy. Potty training cost me many hours of sleep. There were moments, I would confess I told my kid; Dude, you are wearing a pull up, pee in your pull up! That was not being excellent, I had to make sure that when he said he wanted to go, I went with him. I did not complain or gripe or grumble but encourage him in this phase, even if it meant carrying him back to bed because he was tired 😄 As a parent, this was my role to help him.

-Every good thing takes time and practice. “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you are good. It is the thing you do that makes you good”- Malcolm Gladwell. As a histotechnologist, how did I get here, what does it take to be a histotechnologist? I did not wake up one morning and became one, I learnt from the best, from my mistakes and more. When I had to embed, I did not just throw a piece of tissue into the embedding mold! I had to take into account what the pathologist assistant (PA) had sectioned and I had to place it in a way that when it was sectioned, the pathologist would see what part of the tissue they were looking for.

-Excellence is also about keeping my word. It is not fun to keep apologizing- though there is nothing wrong with saying sorry. But think of it this way, your word is your bond! If you say you would do something, do it. The more I do it, the better I get at it.

I talked about my love or desire to sew. I go to Joann Fabric and I am in Fabric heaven. The more I sew, or complete the gifts I promised, the better I become and my next project is much improved.

Just like my baking of banana bread has improved from the first time I made it with my best friend (y’all it had tasted like soap and we threw it away) and now I can make it and be proud to offer my banana bread. I follow a recipe and can almost tell when the recipe is off.

At the end of this conversation with my loved one, I decided:

  1. I am going to finish that baby blanket that was supposed to have been done in December of 2018

  2. I am going to finish that baby quilt…. yes… that was supposed to have been done in August of 2014

  3. That goal of beginning to prep from couch to 5k and possibly doing a mini marathon, will be the next thing… My dears, keep me accountable here!

I need you to help me- if you have run before and have tips do share with me please. Find me on Instagram or Twitter and email me too at theizorapodcast@gmail.com

Are you one of the people I had mentioned earlier?

What will you do excellently? Let me know

Have a great week,

Always,

Ezanya

Mom Guilt/ Working Mom Guilt

Mom Guilt, that feeling of being inadequate as a mom, guilty and unable to enjoy this season of life

Hi Everyone, welcome to the podcast. My name is Ezanya and I am a mom, work full time and podcast.

I had started out thinking that I would call this episode: Firing doubts and becoming Captain Marvel if you are into Marvel Cinematic Universe or Wonder Woman if you are a DC comics gal.. but guys, these two heroines are single and have no kids (in the movies I have seen)

So with no offense to anyone, how about becoming Elastigirl? She had kids, curves, and was flexible. She also dealt with bad guys! Watch the movie Incredibles 1&2 if you want to know the character I am talking about!

This past month, I celebrated my sons’ birthday and I was thinking of how different it was from the previous year and the things I dealt with that surface on and off. Mom guilt was one of them. Some examples

I am going to bake my son’s birthday cake because I can, we will not eat out, I will cook everything my family eats, I will sew my son’s play clothes, I will braid my own hair, etc. I will do all of these goals even as I work full time. And when I do none of these I feel like a terrible mom because I did not achieve these goals.

Regarding my sons birthday cake, see the pics I attached.

My son was super excited about his cake, it did not matter to him what I concocted. I learnt a big lesson from the smiles I saw on his face when the cake was done. Regarding to not eating out, I am thankful we have food. My mom has worked all my life and I have never heard her complain, she was guilty for working, she had to work or we would starve.

How I deal with this:

  1. Pray! Yes, that is my answer to everything :) I try to find answers and peace with God especially when words fail me! I ask God to send me the right solution to my problem and He does. One of my favorite Bible verses is Philipians 4:6-7

  2. Join a group. I am in the working mom group on Reddit & Facebook. It helps me to see that certain questions that I have people also have them and the answers that others give, help me look at things with a different lens

  3. Talk to someone you trust. I have called my mom, friends who are older, who have been parents a lot longer than I have been and we have talked, shared about life and I have been encouraged

  4. Listen to Podcasts. I love Rachel Hollis’ Rise podcast and Mimi G’s Business SHET and they both talk about some issues that women face and more.

  5. And when all these fails, seek a medical professional’s help

So, here is what I will leave you with: You my dear, will survive! I did and you will.

I am attaching Gloria Gaynor’s hit song and anytime Mom Guilt comes around, tell it, to:

Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore- Gloria Gaynor

Have a great week my dears, until the next episode,

God bless

Ezanya

First icing attempt
pre-decorating son's 2nd birthday cake
Decorated 2yr cake
Chocolate cake
O blowing out his candle