amandabouzakine amandabouzakine

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Amanda Bouzakine  CPA turned stay at home mama to two sweet boys. Floridian turned Bostonian turned New Hampshirite. Lover of all the things.

I wish it were me soaking in a nice bubble bath after a busy weekend! (To all the other introverted moms out there who had a wonderful but very social weekend: you're doing great! I hope you find a few minutes to recharge tonight. I'll be drinking some hot tea under my covers while mindlessly scrolling the Internet πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ’†πŸ»)

When Hudson was first born, I worried a lot about showing him too much affection in front of Caleb. I feared that Caleb might resent Hudson. I didn't want to ruin their sibling relationship before it had a chance to start! But I've come to learn that showing Hudson love in front of Caleb has actually been essential to teaching Caleb how to be a sibling. It's taught him how to be loving and patient and compassionate. In the past month Caleb has really taken on his role as big brother and my heart bursts with joy as I watch these two interact each day. When Caleb hears Hudson crying he will say things like "it's okay, buddy, we'll be right there" or "he just needs me to hold him". Caleb will happily play with Hudson; Caleb gives him quick kisses on his cheeks; and I often walk around a corner to find Caleb on top of Hudson, giving him a long hug (I suspect this is Caleb's version of appropriate rough-housing with a baby). Moments like these show me more than ever that Caleb is watching and listening to our words and actions. It's such a privilege to teach these boys how to love each other. My cup truly runneth over. (For Hudson's part, he's been adoring Caleb since the moment he could hold up his head and focus his eyes - I hope to remember forever the way that Hudson adoringly stares at Caleb during EVERY waking moment of his day.)

Happy Easter!! πŸ™πŸ»πŸ° (more in my stories!)

Finally getting around to doing some Easter projects with Caleb. But, most importantly: after weeks of feeling DEEP in the trenches, I'm finally feeling lighter. I've gotten some consistent sleep this week (low sleep is always a big trigger for me) and the feelings that have consumed me for a while now - anxiety, inadequacy, impatience, overwhelm, and the list goes on - have slowly lifted. It feels SO GOOD to feel more normal today. To anyone else in the trenches, I'm sending you big hugs and promises that things will feel better soon. βœ¨πŸ’•

Mama + Hudson day today! Took this guy on his first long walk into town. We were both shedding layers of clothes as the day warmed up. It was great to run into familiar faces on nearly every corner and to visit some of our favorite shops (holla, @freshpressne @gwillikerstoyshop @gusandrubyletterpress). I love these first warm days of the year. Life-giving!
----- And as great of a day it is to be around town, it's also a sad day. Sending our thoughts to the community members who lost their businesses and homes in this morning's fire. But so happy to hear that everyone made it out safely. ❀️

Such a beautiful, sunshine-filled day today! We cleaned up some winter debris from the yard, gave the side-eye to the remaining snow pile in our driveway, and (most importantly!) got all our bikes ready for spring!! ----
Now that Taras works from home, we decided to ditch our second car and invest in a bucket bike for our family! (We were lucky to find a used bike by @madsencycles on eBay!) I took Caleb on his first ride today and he said, "I LOVE our new bike!" Me, too, buddy. πŸ’™πŸš²

Hudson turned six months old while we were in Florida. Every day I sound like a broken record: how is my baby so big??!
Hudson's favorite position is perched on our knee. From there, Hudson happily watches Caleb zoom by, with a permanent smile plastered on his face. Also from this position, he can closely "participate" when we eat a meal - he moves his lips constantly, as if he's practicing for his chance at this main event. On our knee, he wiggles all around and thrusts himself forward, eager to join in on the action. .
At his four month well check, Hudson was in the 18th percentile for weight. I'm curious to see where he lands at his six month well check, because we affectionately call him "chunker" and "chunky monkey" - he has the cutest rolls and grows out of diaper sizes quicker than we can order the next size. We did give him his first taste of solids, just two days shy of him turning six months. He got a taste of avocado, which was also Caleb's first food. He was curious and VERY excited, but I'm not sure he actually managed to eat any πŸ˜‚.
Hudson rarely rolls over but he's starting to sit independently for a brief couple seconds and we let him spend short spurts of time in a walker, which he uses to scoot close to Caleb and grins up at him with a proud smile. Basically, this little dude wants to be on the move so he can keep up with big brother! (The way Hudson looks at Caleb makes me 😍😍😍) .
Hudson's still not sleeping or napping well. He's not a graceful teether and already has two on his bottom. He mostly refuses to nurse unless we are calmly nursing in my bed 😬 and he has a preferred side to eat out of, which drives me crazier than it should. He's still having trouble with my milk if I get too careless with what I eat. And he has no interest in sucking on a bottle, though he'll slowwwwly drink sips from a cup. BUT. He is a rock star traveller, a sweet cuddler, has a generally easy going attitude, loves his feet, giggles when we tickle his belly, and he has a smile that instantly brightens even my most challenging days. Every time someone new meets him, they comment that he's such a happy baby. .
Hudson bear, you are loved so hard.

Today has been tough. But, then, this. ❀️

Home from vacation and hoping to bring this peaceful vibe into the rest of the week with me.
This past week was amazing and we feel forever fortunate to be able to travel with our kids. We're especially thankful to give the kids experiences in my home state, and to give them memories with family and friends who they don't often get to see. Thank you again to everyone who found time in their schedules to see us, and much love to those who opened up their homes to us. And to those we missed this time, we hope to catch up with you next trip!
I will say that this trip was hard. Even with my mom's extra helping hands (THANK YOU, MOM!). There's the physical effort that comes with traveling with a two year old and six month old (and from functioning on very little sleep due to the baby). There's the emotional exhaustion from handling a baby who doesn't nurse well in public, and from mom guilt each time we stretched the kids wayyyy past their limits. And there's the mental exhaustion from weeks of planning meet ups, keeping up with the kids' and others' schedules, having very little downtime, and just generally being the keeper of the time during the trip. These are not complaints, but they are the truths behind every exciting vacation photo.
We are so, so thankful for the memories. And when Taras and I were agreed "I'd do it again" on the final leg of our journey home today, I said in the same breath "but I've never been so exhausted after a vacation". He promised to do all the planning for our next vacation and I'm going to hold him to it! πŸ™ŒπŸ» (One last note - just in case this post made it seem otherwise, Taras is always an involved and helpful travel dad... Florida just defaults to me leading the ship 😘)

We're bringing these little guys back to New England tomorrow. They've been total rock stars through a week of messed up schedules, lots of stimulation, and too many family & friend meet ups to count. I'm hoping they make it through one last long travel day, starting at 4am - wish us luck!

🐊🐊🐊 Alligator farm 🐊🐊🐊
Caleb's been into alligators for a while now. Often at home he'll say that he's a gator, or tell us that we're gators. Then we chase each other around, "chomping" each other with our hands. At the farm, Caleb kept asking to play with the alligators πŸ˜‚.

We took the boys to show them their future college πŸ˜‰. Caleb asked if it was a castle.
Flagler College, I love you ❀️

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