From pregnancy to birth and now toddler… our camera of choice is …

Just like any profession, the tools they use for work is probably much different than what they use at home.  Like I’m pretty positive that Michael Schumacher doesn’t take his F1 car to the grocery store…and the same goes for me as a working photographer... I rarely ever use my pro gear to document my family.

Since Gi was pregnant, one my favourite go to camera’s is actually not even a still camera  – It’s the GoPro.  I love this little video camera and since it’s so small, it’s literally on me all the time.   What’s cool about it is that it can also simultaneously take pictures while doing video.  So why do I love this camera so much?  Mainly because it allows me to be a husband / father first and photojournalist second. I can turn it on… leave it and enjoy the moment while it’s capturing the scene. It’s so unobtrusive it doesn’t draw too much attention.  The other awesome part is that since it captures images wide.. I get to be in the video / photo too.

When Gi went back to work and since I work from home.. . this GoPro has been a phenomenal tool in capturing all the little things that happen with our daughter  each day.  I even get to show Gi every night some stuff she might have missed.

Off the top of my head, here are 20 (out of the hundred) things we used our GoPro to capture from pregnancy to this toddler stage
Captured:

1)   our reaction when we found out Gi was pregnant

2)   my nightly conversations with my daughter while she was in mom’s tummy

3)   baby kicking in the stomach

4)   ultrasound appointment ( some places were cool  with me filming)

5)   baby’s birth

6)   baby’s first tummy time

7)   first time on a plane

8)   Baby’s reaction to different food

9)   Bathing routine

10)  Babbling in bed

11)   Her first crawl

12)  Her first steps

13)  Her first time on a swing

14)  Her first time on a trike

15)  Her first time using a straw

16)  Every messy feeding

17)  Her morning waking up

18)  Family selfies without a selfie stick

19)  Crawling up the stairs

20)  Video journals of us

 

Best portable crib

Before we went on this trip we were trying to figure out how to travel without ruining her routine.   This meant keeping her in as similar surroundings as possible throughout the trip.  One of the keys to this would be giving her the same bed no matter where we went.   I did a bunch of research on portable cribs and there are a number of them out there.   We took a look at the Baby Bjorn and Phil & Ted’s portable crib.   Our friend lent us the Phil & Ted’s but I had already purchased the guava online based on fellow mommy recommendations ( to be clear this was Mz. Helen Hsu =)...better?) .   I have to say I am glad that we got the Guava Lotus crib (http://www.guavafamily.com).  It was a bit of a hassle getting it here since it can only be ordered online and delivered within the United States.   This meant ordering it from Toronto and then sending it to a good friend in New York, who then shipped it over to me.   Thanks again Uncle Scot!!!  We were debating which crib to bring with us at the last minute because the Phil & Ted was way smaller than the Guava 7lbs vs. 11 lbs and it could fit right into our suitcase.  However, in the end we chose the Guava and I am glad we did.

Why the Guava Lotus?  There is a couple of reasons that made it the perfect crib for us.

1) it was in a handy backpack that meant it could be checked in – so we didn’t need to stuff in our suitcase

2)  The set up was literally the 15 seconds as advertised

3) The mattress was firm and supported and felt like a real crib (the Phil & Ted was smaller but it felt like it should be used for camping not daily sleep).

We even ordered accessories for the crib which again came in handy.   Sheets were a given but the mosquito net was key.   The net covers the crib from top to bottom which meant I didn’t have to worry about creepy crawlys biting our baby while we were sleeping.  Being in Asia, Dengue Fever is a true concern.

Gi

Travelling with a 3 month old

Success!!  It can be done.  Traveling with a 3 month old who is now 4̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶t̶h̶s̶ ̶o̶l̶d̶ .   We started in Toronto when it was 15 degrees and after going to Vancouver, HK, Singapore, and Taiwan we return home at -8 degrees.   What have I learned with this trip?  Traveling with an infant is hard but it can be accomplished with some perseverance and routine.   No matter where we were we tried to keep our baby girl on the same routine.   The major time zone changes were definitely tougher than the three hour change from Toronto to Vancouver.

Jet lag and babies

I have read many blogs about babies having jet lag.  I had heard it is tough on babies going from east to west but even tougher from west to east.  Over the past few days I have discovered how true this fact is.   I really think it was a combination of two things that made coming home worse – 1) she was 1 month older and 2) we were doing a 13 hr time change instead of 9 (when we originally went from Vancouver to HK).   We did a stepped approach for our trip to Asia by taking a week in Vancouver to visit our good friends.  She took time to convert to the 3 hr time change but after night 2 she was back to normal (phew).   The 13 hr flight to HK from Vancouver was tough but after a few night wakings our baby girl was back to normal.   Key in all cases was keeping the routine that we had set in place in Toronto, no matter what timezone we were in.

Now this was a little harder when we got back to Toronto, baby girl was older and it was a 13 hr time change with 15 hrs in flight.   So in the last week before we returned back to Toronto, our baby girl has learned how to squeal and her feedings have not been the usual 10 minutes on each boob.  Instead it has been closer to five minutes per boob so when we got back I was stressing over her feedings already.  Night 1 and Night 2 were hell!!!...And when I say hell I mean hell with a capital H.

She did not sleep but instead screamed and wailed like it was no one’s business.   It was that type of screaming for 8 hrs straight at night.   I thought I was going to go crazy but we persisted on putting her back on the routine of back to Toronto.   I was about to back down and start holding her to sleep but luckily for us on day 3 she started getting tired when she was supposed to and sleeping when she was supposed to.  Given that night 3 she was 10 times better, I think it was truly just jet lag.   Again, the routine was key!   For anyone traveling with a baby, just keep persisting through the screams and wails, don’t back down.

Gi