About Me

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Hi. I"m living in the Northeast with my supportive hubby, 2 great girls and toddler son. I run a home based business around scrapbooking and rubber stamping and love everything about those crafts! I also work p/t as a Physician Assistant in Internal Medicine...back after a 10 year hiatus to take care of the kids--loving that, too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hard to believe...our youngest is THREE!

Yes, he is...we celebrated Adam's 3rd birthday with family at home this past Saturday and for the first time in a long time, Adam went straight through the day (and night) without a nap.  He was excited and kept saying "I'm so happy" over and over and even oohed and ahhed over the decorations I'd put up with Yasmeen earlier that morning.  He patiently waited for his grandparents and Titi to arrive before asking (yet again) if he could open his gifts...THAT was the highlight of the day for him!  What 3 year old wouldn't be thrilled to open gift after gift of cars, trains, books, and more cars?!!!  He was so gracious and lovable (and affectionate) as always--doing his duty to pose with us and the rest of the guests so that we could always remember him on that day.  He even had another little boy there to share the excitement with--his cousin Gio!  Of course, Gio, being only 6 months old, didn't quite get what was going on, but he did seem to want to lunge for Adam while he was opening gifts :-).

Unfortunately, on the potty front, he had several accidents that day since his mind was on other things (rightfully so), so we'll have to cut him some slack.  But now that the festivities are over, it's back to the potty, pronto!!

ETA: the minivan reveal went off without a hitch...sort of.  Turns out that when Papa and Nana pulled up into the driveway Saturday, they peeked into the garage to make sure we were there, and saw the van.  Luckily, they didn't know it was ours, and only thought that Gido and Shoo Shoo were in town.  When they came in and realized that the "other Grands" weren't around, they started to get suspicious--so off to the garage we went and they were thrilled for us!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Big Reveal...

Well, today is the big reveal day of the secret we've been keeping all week!  It also happens to be Adam's 3rd birthday, so I'll get this out of the way and be sure to post pics of the big birthday later today or tomorrow.  For those of you that know us, you know that I am a minivan Mom...and that I love my minivan.  I can't believe that it's been over 9 years since we first made the transition to a minivan from a car, but I've enjoyed every minute.  For those Moms out there who just can't fathom the idea of driving a minivan--YOU'RE MISSING OUT!  I also was very reluctant (and at times downright indignant) about every owning (let alone driving) a minivan--but for Moms with kids and "stuff" to tote around, there is nothing better.  These days, the technology alone in any of the more popular minivans, can rival the best technology found in any home or business today.  I kid you not...there are manuals out there JUST for the technology ALONE in today's minivan market.  I should know...we've been looking at minivans for the past several months (in preparation for the eventual death of the current Town & Country we own) and researching the options available for a large family (all with different wish lists) was quite the battle.  In the end (and yes, there is an end...)we wound up narrowing down our choices to the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey.  When we looked at family friendliness of each vehicle, the Honda won hands down...so...the big secret (that we've been keeping from my family--sorry guys) is that we've moved up the purchase of the new minivan and it now sits in our garage!  We were aiming for the early Spring, but a great deal came up (on Black Friday, nevertheless) and we HAD TO make it work!  So here is a picture of us picking up the van this week...Wednesday night to be exact.  It's been a killer keeping the secret, but we wanted to surprise my family when they come over later today for Adam's birthday...let's hope they don't see the blog before arriving!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving--where did the year go?

Ok, so it's not the end of December...yet, but I'm sure the next month is going to fly by faster than I can even imagine!  We've just wrapped up the long Thanksgiving weekend and the notorious black Friday shopping frenzy.  This year, as usual, we headed to my sister's house for the annual feast of turkey, "arroz con gandules" and yummy dessert.  Thank goodness she likes to entertain, because I would be completely lost if I had to try my hand at cooking a turkey.  At the end of the night, the discussion turned to our plans for black Friday.  Aileen decided she wanted to go out THAT NIGHT since most stores are now trying to entice shoppers by opening at midnight on Thanksgiving (or sooner).  I had no desire to go out, but my girls were desperate.  Leena finally convinced me to brave the crowds at Walmart for their 10pm opening.  Yasmeen, Adam and Mohammed were smart, and stayed home, but Leena, Aileen, my Mom, Dad, Elena and me all headed out to see what the hype was about.  THERE WERE CROWDS AND CROWDS OF PEOPLE in line to get into Walmart.  To make matters worse, there wasn't any parking in the HUGE parking lot for the entire mall--and Walmart was the only store open at that time.  Somehow, we lucked out and found parking right up against the entrance, and got in line.  The store employees were on full guard and had actually set up metal guardrails that resembled a line at a popular roller coaster in an amusement park--it was quite a sight!!  So at 10pm, all toys were on sale.  Then at midnight, the electronics went on sale--and can you believe there were people literally sitting in the aisles of the store just waiting to grab a deal on a flat screen tv at the stroke of midnight??!!  No tv in the world is worth that madness.  We browsed the store (getting pushed and shoved along the way by droves of people) and somehow managed to find good deals on some DVDs, a few Wii games and even a very nice, and incredibly priced, rolling desk chair for me.  Nothing out of this world, but it was an adventure nevertheless to get out and see all the crazy folks out there that would do anything for a deal.  Hey, maybe I WAS one of those crazy folks, considering we got into line (a long, long, LOOOOONG line) just to secure our purchases and be able to say that the trip was worth it.

The next day, the actual black FRIDAY, we headed to the mall for Yasmeen, who was desperate to get some clothes at Aeropostale.  Although they did have some good sales, there wasn't much else going on at the mall.  From there, the entire gang headed over to Toys R Us (but when we saw the HUGE line we left everything behind and got back into the van).  Then we had lunch, and headed over to Clinton Honda to look at the Odyssey minivan once again.  Unfortunately, there aren't any "black Friday" deal on cars or vans, so no super sales there.  We did go back and make good on our promise to buy toys after leaving the dealership, and the girls bought dolls while Adam scored a tractor trailer truck (say that 3 times fast) at Toys R Us...once the lines had died down!

It was back to the grind today after an entire week off from work due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  I enjoyed the time off fully as I will be working a full time schedule next month and will be wishing for time off! Work is getting busier, so that makes the days go quicker, but boy am I tired at the end of the day!

The girls are doing great in school. Both Leena and Yasmeen brought home good report cards and our parent/teacher conference with Leena's teacher was stellar.  She actually told us that she gets a gift every year from one of the 3rd grade teachers and that Leena was her gift this year.  So sweet!  Yasmeen's teachers didn't request a conference (a good thing) and her report card was great, too.  Soon her music teacher will be choosing kids to go into the honors and/or Jazz bands (you have to be picked for this) and Yasmeen has a good shot.  Let's keep our fingers crossed for our budding trombone player.

Adam is almost....almost...POTTY TRAINED!  Yep, he took to using his potty seat about 2 weeks ago after seeing his friend use the toilet and has been pretty good about telling me he has "to go".  Of course, he has had a few accidents (like today...when he peed right through his clothes because he was so into getting a slice of cheese, he forgot to tell me he had to go), but overall, he's doing great.  Pooping isn't an issue either, but I'll save that for another time since this is all getting into a bit of too much information :-) Once we've conquered this milestone, we'll need to tackle his "bo-bo" habit.  One step at a time...

Well, I guess that's it...for now...although I will update in a few days with some exciting (to us) news.  You'll have to stay tuned to find out.  Let's just say that Mohammed is taking off a few days this week to use up some of his vacation time before the end of the year...and it's perfect timing!!

Have a great week!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Looks like this whole getting back to work and into the swing of things has really taken a toll on my free time.  I use my days off now to run errands, do laundry and make sure that Adam has a day with Mommy that resembles something close to what he used to have with me every day.  That means trips to the park, music class and just cuddling.  There is a lot of mommy guilt, let me tell ya!  I enjoy working, but I feel awful leaving him at daycare, crying and calling out to me...still--even 2 months later!  On a more positive note, though, I am settling in to my role at work, seeing more patients each day, and getting to know more and more about the "bread and butter" problems that come through an Internal Medicine  practice (and getting better each day at managing them).

So that means that I have less time overall to do some of things I like to do...like scrapbook or update this blog.  I really have good intentions, but unfortunately, a blog post won't write itself (someday maybe).  Until then, please bear with me until I figure out how to balance work and family and all that other stuff I long to do...

This past month, we celebrated several milestones, with yet another to come!  I turned a year older, Leena reached double digits, and Mom & Dad celebrated FIFTY YEARS (!!!!) of marriage.  Later this month, Shoo Shoo celebrates another milestone, and even though we can't be with her to celebrate, we want to let her know that we love her and hope she has a fabulous day!!  Then there's Halloween, of course.  This year, we are slow going on the costume picking, so nothing is set yet.  We are thinking about Leena being a "spider fairy"--adjusted from the apparently too cutesy "fairy" costume we were thinking about initially. Yasmeen had chosen some hippie accessories at the end of last year, but has since changed her mind, and Adam, well, he's still clueless and could care less about dressing up, but BOY, does this boy want his candy!  Guess that only time will tell how this all pans out...

In the midst of all of this, we are in the market for a new minivan.  My old one has been good to us, but she is on her last leg and we know we are going to have to bite the bullet and get a new one in the not too distant future.  For Mohammed and I, that means in the next 4-6 months.  BUT...that doesn't stop us from going to look at cars and researching every last article put on the "best" minivan at the moment (which changes from month to month apparently).  So now we have narrowed it down to the new Honda Odyssey, which is the most popular one around, so not very unique, but hey, since when does a minivan have to be unique?  At least it'll be loaded with a ton of family friendly functionality (say THAT three times fast).

Hopefully, I'll be back here soon, but until then, just know that I haven't forgotten about you and hope to keep you posted (here and there) throughout the upcoming months!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

And the month flew by...

It's already September...where did the month of August go??  It was both a busy, and quiet, month for us in August. Yes, busy in that I started working p/t again and that entailed hiring a babysitter, setting up childcare for the Fall, getting used to my new "work wardrobe" and actually putting some thought into getting ready BEFORE the next day arrives as well as lots of cooking.  No, I don't usually cook on the days I work, but it was also Ramadan this August, so I had to make sure there was food, and plenty of it, most days this past month.  We celebrated EID on the last day of August and since it was a work day, and I couldn't find anyone to cover for me, I wound up taking off the morning only, and then heading into the office for the afternoon.  The rest of the gang dropped me off and picked me up, so at least we maximized the time we had together.  We spent the morning attending EID prayer, going to the mall for a bite to eat at The Cheesecake Factory and doing a little shopping with the girls at Claire's (THE place for all types of accessories--very TWEEN friendly!).  Then it was off to work.

Before I knew it, it was Labor Day Weekend and we were invited down to Virginia to spend the weekend at a rental house near Shenandoah National Park with my sister, her husband and their 3 dogs.  Coincidentally, it was also the weekend of Mohammed and my 13th wedding anniversary, so we accepted their offer and headed South! It was a great trip--one that was much needed as we've been laying low all summer due to the horrific expenses associated with me going back to work.  At least we ended the summer with a bang--and I even got to take a few steps on the APPALACHIAN TRAIL as it crossed into Shenandoah.  Still holding on to my goal to hike this trail someday in the future...even if it is only in sections, and even if I have to wait until I'm in my 60s to do it! We got back on Labor Day Monday in the mid afternoon--exactly 14 hours before Leena and Yasmeen would have to wake up and start their new school year.

That was 2 days ago...the 1st day of school.  It was crazy and hectic and happened in the blink of an eye. We woke up and got ready to go pretty uneventfully...we all even managed to get out of the house to take Leena to the bus stop...but once we got back to the house, time got away from us and we actually MISSED Yasmeen's bus!  First, there was the struggle to get Adam to eat something before attending daycare (his first full day), then I remembered I had to renew my subscription to a medical reference tool on my phone that I use all the time, and I couldn't connect to the website.  When I finally did, I'd run out of time to download the software so I had to leave home without it.  Then it was a mad dash for Mohammed to get Yasmeen to school on time, and for me to get everything I needed for work, plus everything Adam needed for daycare and get out the door with enough time to make it to work for 9:30.  Well, that didn't happen.  Halfway to daycare, I realize I'd left his sippy cup on the kitchen counter and headed back home. By the time we started driving, Adam started having a meltdown.  He cried, screamed, kicked, threw his sippy cup at me, grabbed my shirt, kicked and cried some more.  He did NOT WANT TO GO TO DAYCARE.  It was horrible...HORRIBLE, and to make matters worse (or better in the long run), he had 2 new teachers and didn't know either one of them.  All the visits that we made ahead of time to get him used to the new schedule was for nill!  He shed some more tears and I shed some too.  When I finally walked out the door he was being held back by one of the teachers as he screamed for me to get him.  I HATED LEAVING HIM.  It was horrible...did I mention that?  How do parents do this EVERY DAY????

Once I composed myself enough to start driving to work, I realized it was already 9:10am and I'm about 30 minutes away.  I rushed and got there about 5 minutes late, which was miraculous, actually.  Patients were waiting and I was busy, so the morning flew by.  When I checked in on Adam at lunchtime, the teacher informed me that he had calmed down and was now sleeping.  I called our babysitter and told her she should pick him up BEFORE Leena to avoid any more time at daycare than necessary...thank GOD for her!!

I was able to leave work on the early side and made it home even before Mohammed.  Adam ran up to me, hugged me, and exclaimed "I went to school today", and then quickly ran back to the sofa and claimed his spot next his beloved babysitter.  I was happy to see him not crying and feel that it will only get better with time.

Yesterday, I was off, so I took Yasmeen to the bus stop and took my "First Day of School" pictures on her 2nd day.  I spent the day running errands with Adam, who was all to happy to accompany me.  When we got home, we watched TRAINS! on YouTube and then headed upstairs for a nap.  By the time he got up it was time to get Leena, so off we went.  Then it was Back To School Night at Leena's school, so our babysitter came over on her "day off".

Today, we got a call early this morning that there was a delayed opening for our township schools...thankfully, Mohammed was able to wait with the girls.  Lots of rain overnight and flooding again in town today.  Then another call came in and school was cancelled.  HEADACHES!! Mohammed was able to stay with them for the day while I headed to work.  We told the babysitter to save herself the hassle of trying to get to us and go home. It took me about an hour to get to work, for what normally would take me 25 minutes.  Road closures and back ups were horrific.  Getting home was tricky, too, but I made it in about 45 minutes.  Glad to say that I'm home tomorrow, even if I'm covering the office this Saturday.  Love that it's not every week, and love my part time schedule.

Hope everyone has a safe (and DRY) weekend!!