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

The Young & The Sleepless

The Young & The Sleepless; The Older and the Sleep Deprived!

Do you recall or still watch the TV show, The Young & The Restless, this episode is not about the show, that has been going on since 1973… Not at all. In this episode, I am going to talk about sleep and why you and I need it.

I recall the Fairy Tale called Sleeping Beauty. There are many versions but the one we all know is the one she is cursed by an evil/angry fairy to die but one good fairy instead blesses her with a hundred year old sleep- or nap as I will call it for she will be awakened at the end of that 100 years with the kiss from a prince.

My dears, can you imagine being asleep for hundred years! I digress…

Do you recall when you were in college or in your teens and you would stay up to watch a movie, study for a test all night and then take a shower, eat (or not) have coffee and go to class or your test the next couple of hours? Can you do that now? How much sleep do you need and how do you know the number you chose is what you need?

I recall staying up when I was in college and had to study for my physics test. I stayed late in the Morris Library, and then came back to study in my room. I might have slept for 2 hours and then went to take the test. I aced the test but I was tired for the remainder of the week. I did not drink coffee then as I do now :)

What have you heard about sleep?

I have heard things like

- “Sleep is overrated”

-”You can sleep when you die”

-”You can catch up on sleep” (which is not true)

-”You need 8 hours of sleep”

And more.

When I had my baby; mommy-mode kicked in and for the first couple of weeks, I learnt that my body could function on little bursts of sleep like 3 hours. I also learnt my hubby needed more sleep than I did. (Did that happen to you too?) I did try to sleep when my baby slept but when my husband went back to work, I decided to do things around the house and the things I did not finish he helped when he came back.

When I went back to work after maternity leave, I knew that I needed to amplify my sleep quantity and quality. I watched how much coffee I drank because I was nursing and I did not want my baby to be awake due to caffeine. I would drink it early in the day when he was at daycare and not drink coffee past noon.

I switched jobs and started working the night shift so I could spend more time with my family and I would say this was not a good decision for me. By this time, the baby was weaned off and I was not nursing any more. I relied heavily on coffee and it did not help that Starbucks was on the first floor while I worked on the second floor. My commute to work was 45 minutes to work on a good day and coming back during rush hour could be an hour and half at best to 3 hours before I got home.

Coffee did not help guys. My body was TIRED!

I recall one time that I fell asleep driving home on the wheel at a red light. I woke up and the red light just turned green, that was when I decided to do something about this sleep deprivation situation.

Yes, it is touted that we need 8 hours of sleep but if I sleep more, I feel miserable. I wake up without the alarm (like my grandma lol) and that for me tells me I had got the amount of sleep that I need. You need to find the right amount for yourself by talking to your healthcare provider. You might need to do a sleep study if you are tired all the time and might need to get a BiPaP.

Why do we need more sleep?

Here is a video on YouTube about why you need it and there are more videos to check out there too. The video is from a professor of Neuroscience, Matthew Walker.

I will share some of my reasons to sleep more in the hopes that it helps you.

  1. You need sleep for your health! I have gained more weight and have been unable to keep it off because of my poor eating choices and my heavy reliance on sugary goods to stay awake. Sleeping more lately, has helped my cravings for sweets

  2. Sleeping more is for my safety and that of others. I work as a Histotechnician and we cut tissue, stain slides and do a lot other things (ask me if you need to know). If I am sleep deprived, the chances of cutting my finger on the microtome, spilling chemicals and or making errors increases. I put myself, my colleagues, patients in danger

  3. I spend more money. Yes! I buy more snacks (empty calories), buy books on Google and join memberships for discounts (hello Audible!) and spend my money at Starbucks. I do love to read so my books from Google and Audible are re-accessible so I can go back to them.

So, can you sleep more?

Yes, you can because I have begun to. I did change my work schedule and I do not work nights anymore. For an article with tips to help you sleep better, check this out

-Exercise has helped and I noticed that the days I workout or walk for a few minutes, my sleep is good.

-Turn off your phones and TV too :)

-And I also ask God for help. In Psalm 127:2 it says “It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. And when I ask God, He has come through for me.

What is your story about sleep? Do share.

See you at the next episode.

Have a great week!

Ezanya

Other listening links

When I used to love you; The Break Up with Sugar

In this episode, I share about health journey and my love for sugar- cookies to be exact and what I am doing to cut the habit.

Growing up, we used sugar cubes for tea, and to my Naija (Nigerian) listeners, that included soaking garri too. The only time we used granulated / powdered sugar was when we were baking. For some reason, ants which we called sugar ants always found the sugar; even if my grandma locked it up in her cupboard. She did this to keep her many grand kids away from her sugar but the ants always found a way. This is the same way I am towards sugar; to be specific sweet stuff.

To read more about Kizito cookies click the link and for more about the special lady who makes them, click this link

My hubby got this spice mix and he marinated chicken overnight before he barbecued it. I tell you, it was sooooo gooooood! It was better than the cookies that I had been craving. If you love, heat, spice and flavor, check it out.

The complete episode is linked below.

Enjoy.

Ezanya