Axel Sather: Six-Month Update

IMG_7811How is my little boy a half a year old already! He’s actually closer to seven months now, but as per usual (and becoming the new norm in our house), I’m late to the party – again.

We are continuing to pass illnesses back and forth, most recently I had come down with laryngitis and had almost completely lost my voice. I believe the family was actually happy for this silence from mommy. I’m now better and almost fully back to normal mom-nagging capacity.

After Axel’s six-month vaccinations, he was down and out and very congested. Thankfully that only lasted a couple of days, but of course it was over a drill weekend when it was mommy vs. the kids. Side note: the kids always win!

Axel’s personality has continued to blossom and all I can say is that we’re going to be in trouble when he’s fully mobile! He will get into everything. He is an active boy. He is not crawling (yet), but he does sort of scoot/turn himself to move. Far enough to get into things! He does sometimes scoot backwards doing this. He can roll, but mostly just chooses to roll to his tummy so he can play with whatever he can get ahold of. I see him eyeing the dogs a lot more, so they will need to be on guard when he starts crawling.

Changing his diaper has become an exercise in arm strength. He is constantly moving his arms and legs and trying to grab everything while we try to keep him still enough to secure his diaper. Don’t even get me started on how long it takes just to try to snap his shirts!

He has started babbling a lot more and seems to be trying to wave. I swear I hear “mama” every once in a while – mostly when he’s crying.

He’s not sleeping through the night (sigh), but he’s been better now that he’s not sick. He usually gets up twice, sometimes three times. Depending on how the next couple of weeks go, we might sleep train. He’s pretty regimented with his schedule.

We’ve tried foods, but he doesn’t seem too interested. Probably because they’ve all been vegetables! But we did recently give him puffs and he enjoys those. It’s quite entertaining to watch him as he tries to get them to his mouth. He gets about 60% in. He is also now sort of using a straw sippy cup. He is actually drinking water, but sometimes he prefers to just spit it back out.

We had a wonderful Easter holiday and Charlotte was a little spoiled with three egg hunts! We all (mostly Mommy) had fun getting everyone dressed up for church and celebrations.

Axel Sather – Six Month Update

Birth = 8 lbs., 7 oz.
2 Weeks = 10 lbs. – 88th percentile
2 Months = 15 lbs., 5 oz. –  96th percentile
4 Months = 19 lbs. 2 oz. – 96th percentile
6 Months = 20 lbs. 6 oz. – 90th percentile

Birth = 22.25″
2 Weeks = 23″ – >99 percentile
2 Months = 25.1″ – >99 percentile
4 Months = 27″ – 98th percentile
6 Months = 28″ – 93rd percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 38 cm – 95th percentile
2 Months = 41.1 cm – 95th percentile
4 Months = 43.5 cm – 91st percentile
6 Months = 45 cm – 89th percentile

He is currently wearing 12-month clothing comfortably, but fits in a lot of 18-month clothes as well!

Likes: Attention, jumping, his exersaucer, being held, his sister, the dogs, baths, music, walks in his stroller, being read to, playing on his tummy, turning around, knowing what you’re doing.

Dislikes: Sleeping through the night, being left alone, eating his vegetables, sitting still.


Axel Sather: Five-Month Update

Axel Sather: Five months

Axel Sather: Five months

So I wrote the draft of this post last week. Since I wrote it, Axel has been diagnosed with RSV and an ear infection and Jed also caught the bug. We spent more time at the doctor than anywhere else last week, but with a little one and breathing concerns, you do what you got to do! Luckily, Axel has been a trooper and is getting back to his normal self, babbling and smiling away. He also about gave me a heart attack on Saturday, but instead of giving the gross details, I’ll just say he’s fine and I hope it never happens again.

Anyway, because I’m tired and playing single parent this week and want to go to bed, I’m not going to update the below. We’re all better now and just need to catch up on sleep (p.s. – I’m not a fan of Daylight Savings).

What I wrote last week:

I would like a redo of this past month. For half of the month (and still going), we have been sick. By “we”, I mean Charlotte, Axel and myself. Jed has an iron immune system (thank goodness!). Charlotte and I have mostly gotten over it (apart from minor coughing and runny nose), but Axel’s is still hanging on because he’s too little to expel anything and he’s amazing at eluding the nose bulb.

We took him to the doctor three times in one week just because I kept worrying it was turning into something more serious and he wasn’t getting better. It actually started in his right eye. He woke up with a puffy eye and I immediately thought pink eye. We took him in to urgent care, because of course it happened on a Sunday. They said it was just a virus, not pink eye, and to keep an eye on it (ha!). We did and the next day we took him to our regular pediatrician just to have a look. They said the same, but did give us antibiotic drops to help. During the course of this, I had come down with the virus as well and was miserable. I couldn’t smell or taste anything for a few days and was super congested, my ears hurt . . . you get the picture. I went to multiple doctors and finally got some meds to speed up the healing process. I also couldn’t take my allergy medicine for the week because we had an appointment for Axel to have allergy testing (it would affect the results) since his sister is allergic to about everything under the sun.

Fast forward to today and we’re all getting better, but Axel still has a bad cough and is trying to clear his congestion. The worst is at night as he’s now up at least three times during the night because of it, which means we’re up to. There were many nights that Jed and I had to take turns sleeping with him on our chest to keep him upright for comfort so he could sleep. Of course, we didn’t sleep very well.

I hope we can get him cleared up soon. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired and there’s nothing worse than a sick baby. Jed is also headed out of town next week for a conference, so I really hope we’re back to normal since I won’t have backup help.

In addition, I mentioned above that we took Axel to have allergy testing done. We did this because we wanted to slowly start introducing purees to him, but with his sister’s food allergies, we didn’t want to find out if he had them the way we found out with her. Better safe than sorry.

He has eczema, like his sister, but his back was clear so we were able to do a skin test. They did the “common 20” allergens – dog, cat, milk, egg, peanut, horse, dust, etc.

He had two reactions – one more than the other – milk and dog. Ugh. I would be lying if I said I shocked. I was kind of expecting it, but hoping he would slide under the radar. Charlotte always spit-up after eating and would be fussy when she was his age and he hasn’t been like that (you can tell he doesn’t spill much!). Apart from the eczema, there really wasn’t any signs like Charlotte.

The skin test only tells you if it’s positive or negative, not “how allergic” they are to the item. After talking with the doctor and knowing the family history, I said I would feel more comfortable also doing the blood work to find out if he’s as bad as Charlotte or maybe more tolerant. So we went and had his blood drawn. It took longer to find a vein than to draw the blood.

We got the results back and he’s definitely not as allergic to milk as Charlotte is, but enough for the doctor to tell us not to directly expose him to it. The doctor said for me to continue eating dairy in my diet because he’s been fine so far. If I was to eliminate dairy and then introduce/expose him later, there would more risk of a worse reaction.

The dog was about what Charlotte is and they said that peanut did show up, but was small enough that he would be a good candidate to do a peanut challenge and possibly work on desensitizing him to it. Apparently the guidelines on peanut allergies and exposure are changing, so they say if you have a negative skin test and are under 1 on the blood work (he was 0.40), that you should start exposing them to peanuts starting around 4-5 months of age. The doctors at our clinic discussed this and said if we wanted to, we could do so with him, but not until he’s able to eat pretty well. So we will need to work on that and then determine if we should go this route. It would mean having to expose him to peanuts weekly, which brings up the worry of cross-contamination with Charlotte who is allergic.

So that’s where we’re at here at the five month mark. I guess February was our “medical month”. Hopefully March goes a little more smoothly.

Apart from being sick, Axel is doing very well. His little (or rather big) personality is shining through more and more each day. He’s found his voice and it’s LOUD! Goodness he knows how to get attention. I think Charlotte has taught him that!

We’ve introduced rice cereal and carrots so far. This kid loves to eat! He grabs the spoon and tries to feed himself. He’s not going to miss many meals and I’m a little worried about how much he’ll eat when he’s a teenager! We’re going to continue to introduce the veggies and some fruits over the next few weeks.

Likes: Smiling, moving, rolling to his tummy, grabbing his toes and our faces, music, being read to, being held, being able to see his surroundings, the exersaucer, bath time, watching Charlotte, playing with his toys (especially plush toys), chewing/gumming toys and fingers, screaming, babbling, food.

Dislikes: Being alone, having his nose cleared, sitting still.


Axel Sather: Four-Month Update

January came and went quickly and that’s fine because I’m tired of winter. The cold, dry weather has really done a number on Axel’s sensitive skin so I can’t wait for spring. Charlotte had/has eczema and it’s no surprise to us that Axel seems to have this as well. Of course the worry in my mind is that he may also have food sensitivities or allergies like Charlotte, so we are going to be taking him in at the end of this month for testing just to be sure before we start him on puree. I’d rather not find out like we did with Charlotte.

In January I started back to my regular work hours and it’s been a balancing act trying to figure out getting two kids ready for daycare, packing everything up (why do kids have so much stuff!), and figuring out some semblance of a routine. We’re still working on it.

This past week we hit the dreaded four-month sleep regression! I completely forgot about this until I googled why he wasn’t sleeping since he’s been an awesome sleeper since about six weeks. Yep. Sleep regression it is – fussiness, more eating, waking at night. It started last Saturday (on a drill weekend and while I was sick, of course!) and it hasn’t gotten any better. He’s up 3-4 times a night now and eating during most of those wakings (he used to sleep from 9:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m.).

So to say we’re tired would be an understatement. I really hope this doesn’t go on for too much longer, although I think my body is figuring out how to function on even less sleep now. We definitely got spoiled early with this little man.

A few days before he turned four-months, he started rolling. For a few days he would only roll from his back to his tummy, but then he figured out rolling to his back. He doesn’t do that very often, but he can. He actually now sleeps on his tummy about 50% of the time, when he does decide to sleep. We put him on his back, but he rolls.

Apart from that, Axel has been doing great at daycare and it’s so awesome that Charlotte actually likes playing with him and watching over him.

Monday we had his four-month well check. He was a trooper considering they were busy and we were there longer than expected. He did great with the shots. I think he was more upset that we had to wake him up for them than him actually getting them.

Axel Sather – Four Month Update

Birth = 8 lbs., 7 oz.
2 Weeks = 10 lbs. – 88th percentile
2 Months = 15 lbs., 5 oz. –  96th percentile
4 Months = 19 lbs. 2 oz. – 96% percentile

Birth = 22.25″
2 Weeks = 23″ – >99 percentile
2 Months = 25.1″ – >99 percentile
4 Months = 27″ – 98th percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 38 cm – 95th percentile
2 Months = 41.1 cm – 95th percentile
4 Months = 43.5 cm – 91st percentile

He’s a big boy! He is wearing mostly 9-month clothing, which fit him almost perfectly right now, so we will probably be in 12-month soon!

Likes: Smiling, moving, rolling, grasping toys, music, my singing!, being read to, being held, being able to see his surroundings, watching Charlotte and the dogs, trying to sit, and he recently found his feet and loves grabbing them!

Dislikes: Being left alone, sleeping at night.


Axel Sather: Three-Month Update


Axel Sather: 3 Months

Already three months old! A lot has happened within the last month.

This past month was very busy with the holidays. We hosted Christmas at our new home. My parents, both brothers, my brother’s girlfriend, two uncles and my brother’s dog joined us. So it was a full house, which was fun. We also had Axel’s baptism scheduled for December 26th while my family would be in town to attend. And then of course, the New Year!

Everything started off great. Everyone made it into town Wednesday evening and got settled in. My brothers stayed with us, my parents and uncles at a nearby hotel.

Christmas Eve was filled with fun and it snowed so we got to have a white Christmas! We enjoyed a nice dinner and let Charlotte open her Christmas Eve gift, which usually includes a new book, jammies, an ornament and a small toy – in this case, a small Spiderman plush toy, which she LOVES!

Christmas Day arrived and Charlotte was not quite as excited as I was to see her reaction to Santa bringing her gifts. She wasn’t all that impressed (sigh), but you can’t predict a toddler’s emotions. She warmed up eventually and in the end loved everything she got. My parents and uncles came over, but my Dad wasn’t feeling well. (Side note: About 2 weeks earlier, Charlotte came home from daycare with a stomach bug, that I also had the pleasure of getting).

We spent the morning/afternoon opening gifts and enjoying everyone’s company. My Dad ended up going back to the hotel to rest. One of my uncle’s left that evening to head back home.

The next day was much different. Everyone was sick! Both brothers, my mom, and my brother’s girlfriend (who had to catch an early flight)! It was horrible. Everyone got the stomach bug. This also happened to be the day of Axel’s baptism.

We ended up cancelling the reception at our house (didn’t want to get anyone else sick), but we continued with the baptism. My Dad and other uncle was able to come for it, but everyone else was resting, which was needed. It was great and Axel wore his great-great grandfather’s gown!

So it took a few days for everyone to get better and then we had a small snow storm, which delayed my parents getting home. In the end, it all was fine, but definitely wasn’t what we had planned. It will go down as the Christmas Plague of 2015 and hopefully one that’s not repeated!

Our New Year was much less dramatic. We went to Jed’s sister’s house and made fondue and Charlotte got to play with her cousin (and stay up later than usual!).

We’re looking forward to a less chaotic year and being able to enjoy more time with friends and family making memories.

But I digressed. This is supposed to be Axel’s update.

Axel continues to grow and develop every day. He’s found his hands and loves to grasp items and attempt to bring them to his mouth. He’s getting pretty good at it. He also likes to be upright so he can see everything around him.

Winter has not been great for his skin. The house has been dry and his cheeks have gotten super chapped, which I think we finally have under control. He also has a little eczema, which hopefully isn’t more than just that. I get a little paranoid about food allergies, but he doesn’t spit up much, if at all, unlike Charlotte when she was his age.

He’s a little flirt. He’ll flash you a smile if you give him attention.

We don’t have another well check until next month, but I tried weighing him on the scale with me, and he was about 17 pounds! It sure is a workout holding him as he’s pretty heavy.

Likes: Smiling, his hands, grasping toys, music, being read to, watching Charlotte – or really anything that moves, ceiling fans, being held, moving.

Dislikes: Being left alone, not being able to see (depending on how you’re holding him), trying to hold his hands still.

Next week he will start daycare. It’s hard to believe it’s almost here. He’ll be attending the same in-home that Charlotte goes to, so that will be nice, but I’m still not looking forward to it. I’m sure he’ll like all the activity there though and watching the other kids.

Now for the photo dump:

Axel Sather: One & Two Month Update

So I’m off to a great start for his monthly updates! I had started his one month update and then never got around to posting it, so I figured I’d combine them!

These first few months of his life have gone by too quickly (in my opinion), but he is thriving and healthy and we have so much to be thankful for.

Around his one-month milestone, we headed over to Iowa City to get his pelvic kidney checked out by a specialist. We had to go out there as the specialist in Des Moines was moving and wasn’t taking any more patients. Charlotte had a pretty bad cold, so we ended up keeping her out of daycare and taking her along as well, so it was technically our first family road trip!


Potty break on the side of the road!

The trip to Iowa City went well. Charlotte is pretty much potty trained, but for longer trips we have a portable potty (just in case). Luckily she told us she needed to go!

Upon arrival at the office, I took Axel to get an ultrasound and then we headed up to meet with the specialist. They reviewed the photos with us and told us that everything looked to be doing fine. Because of the location of his right kidney, it will always probably be a little smaller than his left (not as much room to grow), but the tissue looked healthy so they didn’t have any concern with it functioning. There are tests to determine functionality, but they stated they didn’t feel we needed to do those because it looked healthy and he hasn’t had any symptoms to be of concern (or any symptoms at all, really). His left kidney, which is located in the correct spot, had some dilation. They said that they wanted to see him at six months to check the dilation in his left kidney and make sure his right kidney is growing with him. Most dilation they stated takes care of itself, so we’ll check up on it again in May.

At the office visit, they weighed him and he was 12.3 lbs. with his diaper!

On December 4th we had his two-month well check. He blew us out of the water in regards to what we thought he weighed. Here’s his stats:

Axel Sather – Two Month Update

Birth = 8 lbs., 7 oz.
2 Weeks = 10 lbs. – 88th percentile
2 Months = 15 lbs., 5 oz. –  96th percentile

Birth = 22.25″
2 Weeks = 23″ – >99 percentile
2 Months = 25.1″ – >99 percentile

Head Circumference:
2 Weeks = 38 cm – 95th percentile
2 Months = 41.1 cm – 95th percentile

He isn’t too far ahead of where Charlotte was as well. They are pretty similar in regards to their development, which I think is interesting.

So, because of his size we’re basically in 6-month clothing for him right now, and because of his torso length, we may need to go to 9 months soon as some things are a little tight in the nether-regions. But I LOVE his rolls. He’s definitely a chunker, which is so cute, except when we’re bathing him and trying to find all the hidden lint.

In regards to his personality, he is pretty chill. He’s a good sleeper. At around 5-6 weeks, he was sleeping through the night. From about 10/10:30 p.m. – 6-7 a.m. The past week he has started waking again for one feeding during the night around 3-4 a.m., but then sleeps until 6:30-7 a.m. SOOO much different than Charlotte.

Likes: Smiling, kicking/moving, watching what’s going on, ceiling fans (he loves them to much he coos to them), his hands (he sucks his thumb if he can find it!), staring at faces, watching Charlotte, music, tummy time, cooing, being laid flat, and finally starting to like pacifiers.

Dislikes: He really only fusses when he’s hungry, has a burp, is overtired or has a dirty diaper.

Most of his hair had fallen out (on it’s own or because of Charlotte “petting” him), but now it’s starting to come in again. It’s lighter than Charlotte’s was.

I’m exclusively breastfeeding and will do that as long as I can. I learned a lot from having Charlotte, so this time around I have a lot more milk stockpiled for when he starts daycare in January.

Charlotte has continued to amaze us at how much she loves her little brother. She gives him lots of kisses and goes to see what’s the matter when he cries. She tries to give him his pacifier and wants to help us with everything – even dirty diapers!

We had a great Thanksgiving and we’re looking forward to Christmas and hosting my family for the first time in our new home!

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!