Thursday, January 29, 2009

We're in China!

Hi everyone. We made it. We are settled in our hotel room and are going to go off exploring today. I think we are going to go see the Summer Palace.

The flight was long, but uneventful. Can't wait to sleep in a real bed tonight.

Love you all!

Kenny, Jen & Baby Shepherd

9:45AM China time :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

17 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

Are you starting to feel a bit off balance? As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes, so you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. Wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble; trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby. You'll also want to be sure to buckle up when you're in a car — keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly, drawn snugly across your hips, and also use the shoulder harness.

Note from Jen:

So, none of the things that Baby Center mentioned seem to be true for me. I am not big enough yet to have balancing issues... although last week when we went over to Eric & Sheree's to play Wii Fit, the Wii asked if I have trouble walking... oh wait, it asked Kenny that! I have perfect balance as evidenced by my all time high score on Wii Fit Tight Rope!

I still haven't gotten much bigger or gained any weight. However, I am pretty sure that I will come back from the 2 weeks in China and just be huge :)

Still haven't felt the baby move yet. Hopefully soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

16 Weeks

From BabyCenter:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces.

His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails.

And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.

Soon you'll experience one of the most wonderful moments of pregnancy — feeling your baby move. While some women notice "quickening" as early as 16 weeks, many don't feel their baby move until about 18 weeks or more. (And if this is your first baby, don't be too impatient — you may not be aware of your baby's movements until 20 weeks or so.) The earliest movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping. Over the following weeks they'll grow stronger and you'll be able to feel them much more frequently.

Note From Jen:

I don't think I have felt the baby move yet, but I have nothing to compare it to, so who knows?!? I am pretty sure he/she is waiting for China :)

Feeling good this week. Not crazy, hungry like last week. Just my "normal" self.

I really wish I had more to report, but I really don't. Things seem to be moving normally. I am feeling good and ready to take this little baby on its second international trip!

Here is my 16 week picture we took on Monday. Again, I think I look pretty much the same, but since the baby should be doubling his/her weight soon... I think that is about to change :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

15 Weeks

From BabyCenter:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple).

She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs.

Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam.

There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds.

Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods." ( I don't get my ultrasound till week 20 :( I tried to talk her into doing one earlier, but it was no good.)

You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now, a little more or less is fine, too, (I haven't gained any yet, but with my hunger levels increasing the way they are I am sure I will gain plenty soon enough!) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then.

Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days (Only stress right now has been work related. Can't wait for vacation!). Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women.

Note from Jen:

I just got back from my doctor's appointment and it looks like we are good to go for our trip to China. I was just told to get up and walk every 10 minutes on the plane and be careful about eating fruits and veggies in China. The doctor also joked that maybe I should just take a Benadryl so I can sleep the entire flight :)

My next appointment is in 4 weeks and I should be getting my next ultrasound around that time. We still need to make up our minds about finding out if we are having a boy or a girl, but it looks like the majority of you really want us to find out!

At the appointment today she also listened to the baby's heartbeat again. She found it easily at first, but then the baby quickly moved away. She laughed and said that the baby is moving like crazy. When she found it again it was about 160 BPM. If you trust the old wives tales, this could mean we are having a girl!

Well, other than being stressed at work, I am feeling great. Back to my normal self. Without the morning sickness and extreme exhaustion, it is easy to forget that I am actually pregnant. I am sure that will change in the coming weeks as I get bigger and start to feel the baby move!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Christmas 2008 & My Sunglass Dilemma

The weekend before Christmas we went up to Jen's parents house to play in the snow. We had a great time having an early Christmas and seeing everyone.

Jeffrey loves his Uncle Kiki and Pie-Pie (Pilot) and we had so much fun watching him run around calling for them all weekend long.

Anyway, I finally uploaded the pictures that I have. Check them out!

The next weekend, Mom & Dad come down to San Diego and stayed for a few days. We made tamales, did some household projects and had fun spending time together. Kenny was flying on Saturday so while we waited for him to get back we just had fun going out to lunch and braving the crowded mall. I was able to buy some maternity clothes (Thanks Mom Shepherd for the gift card!) and some sunglasses.

Here is where I need your help. I spent over an hour looking at sunglasses and ended up buying these Arnette glasses.

Actually, I bought two pairs. I had a gift card and since Sunglass Hut was having a sale, I was basically able to get two for the price of once. The cool thing is that they also both come with spare lenses, so essentially I got 4 pairs of glasses for the price of one.

I like the glasses because they are very lightweight which helps with my headaches and they are comfy. The only thing is that they are very sporty and not as fashionable.

So, I went back to the store yesterday with Kenny just to look again and found these.

They are cute and fit well, but are double the price.

I asked the girl at the store what the difference was between Arnette and Ray-Ban and she just said that Ray-Ban was just more well known and that they are actually owned by the same company.

So, what would you do? Get the sporty Arnette 2 for the price of 1 (along with extra lenses making it 4 for the price of 1) or get the cute Ray-Bans?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

14 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Welcome to your second trimester!

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee (ewww!), and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.

Your energy is likely returning and your queasiness may have completely abated by now. If not, hang on — chances are good it will soon be behind you (although an unlucky few will still feel nauseated months from now).

The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which may be enough to push your tummy out a tad. Starting to show can be quite a thrill, giving you and your partner visible evidence of the baby you've been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It's normal to worry a bit now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby, and having faith that you're well equipped for what's ahead.

Note from Jen:

Whoo hoo! Second trimester. I don't feel like I am a third of the way through the pregnancy. Weird, but pretty cool :)

Nothing really to report. I am feeling so much better, but still have an achy back some nights. I pretty much go straight to the blue la-z-boy after work and sit with the heating pad all evening :)

I am getting hungrier by the day and I feel terrible if I don't eat. Yesterday I didn't get to take a lunch at work and it was horrible. Once I got home and got a little food in my belly I was fine... this kid just needs to eat I guess :)

Here is my 14 week picture. I think my belly is smaller than before. In fact, I actually fit into pants that I couldn't get into a few weeks ago. I know I better enjoy it while I can!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Backup those blogs

I posted this on my design site, but thought some of you might want to see it as well...

Family events. Photos. Memories. All gone with one click.

Unfortunately it is very easy to accidentally delete your blog and lose all your precious memories. In the last few months I have had two clients accidentally delete their Blogger blogs and have had to restart from scratch :( It is so sad and I feel terrible when things like this happen... especially because there is nothing that can be done aside from hoping Google will restore the old blog.

Whether you are using Blogger or, it is very important that you make backups of your blog.


Blogger just added an Import/ Export feature that makes backing up your blog posts and comments as easy as one click.

To export your blog in Blogger, simply click Export Blog from the Settings | Basic tab.
Export Blogger

Finally, click the Export Blog button. You blog will be stored as a Blogger export file (.xml) file which can be kept as a backup on your hard drive or imported into another blog.

Note: Exported blogs are not deleted from your dashboard or

NEVER hit Delete Blog unless you are sure you no longer want your blog and want to lose all your old blog posts.

I would recommend backing up your blog every week or two depending on how often you post. Also be sure to backup those custom Blogger template designs as well (I always keep a backup of the designs that I do, but it is still good practice to make a backup for yourself as well, especially if you make any changes)

If you are using WordPress, backing up your blog is as simple as installing a Database Backup plugin. I use and recommend WP-DBManager and install it on all WordPress blogs hosted on my site.

WP-DBManager allows you to schedule automatic backups of your WordPress database (including all your posts and comments) and have them stored online or emailed to you. Every week I get a new backup file emailed to me and it is easy to keep the backups current just in case.

In 2009, make a point to backup your blog posts.

If you need help exporting your blogs, installing backup plugins or would like me to automatically backup and store your blog for you, just send me an email and I'd be happy to help.