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!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer is here!!

Looks like it's full speed ahead. The weekend before school ended, we held a ceremony for the girls as they "bridged" from Juniors to Cadettes.  They are getting much more mature and they all did great with the formalities of the afternoon. The next day, we celebrated Father's Day with a road trip to Frenchtown for a little ice cream and the possibility of a geocache.  We scored the ice cream, but no geocache in sight.  Midweek, Yasmeen received her new belt...RED STRIPE.  Just one more belt level before she moves into the next training group and gets ready to work towards her black belt!! The girls officially had their last day of school exactly 1 week ago today, and we've been pretty busy ever since.  First, we "celebrated" the end of school with a deep cleaning of the upstairs playroom and managed to get rid of EIGHT bags for the donation bins.  This included clothing and toys, so it's not as crazy as it sounds, but it definitely made a dent!  Next, I had my last layout class EVER.  I have been telling my regulars that I will be scaling back to just holding SCRAMP nights for now, and all other classes have got to go.  It's good that I was able to finish off the last class before the usual lull in class attendance common of the summer, but it's bittersweet that it's the last one for good.  With getting back to working, something had to give! The first full day off of school, Yasmeen enjoyed watching "Mr. Popper's Penguins" with her old Battle of the Books club members (they were chaperoned by the teachers for the afternoon), and then by Friday, it was off to Coco Key Water Resort with my GS troop as a reward for their hard work this year.  Turns out that Adam also came along for the 1st day since Mohammed and I had a mix up about who was going to have Adam for the day, but it worked out since he absolutely had a blast!  The girls enjoyed themselves a ton, too.  They played hard and despite my idea that they might be too tired to stay up late, they got a second wind and were able to stay up late playing games with their GS sisters in the hotel room.  The next morning, it was time for breakfast and back to the water park.  Check out was at 11am, so they really only had an hour or so of playtime before we packed it up and headed back to Hillsborough.  After arriving home, we paid a visit to Elena before she left for Spain for the next few months.  We'll miss her!!  We had a busy Sunday, too.  Gido and Shoo arrived from Florida on their way to Egypt.  They came in for Mohammed's 40th birthday on Monday, and we even had a visit from Mohammed's cousin for the day. We spent 2 fun days together with Gido and Shoo-Shoo and when we took them to the airport yesterday, the girls immediately missed them.  The girls made me promise them that they would stay longer when they came back to the USA, so if you're reading this Gido and Shoo-Shoo, you'd better stay a while when you get back to NJ!  After dropping them off, we headed to Coney Island.  The last time we were there was back in 2007 and those pictures were one of the first blog entries I wrote after hopping on the blog bandwagon!! Today was back to work for Mohammed, and the start of the summer craziness that is characterized by endless activity, no schedule whatsoever, and going, going, going all day long.  Poor Adam didn't have a chance to nap until after 4pm today, and by then, I only let him sleep for about 45 minutes so as not to regret it later tonight.  We started the day with a visit to Colonial Park for my Spanish for Children Meetup group, then to Toys R Us to buy a gift for a birthday party in the early afternoon, afterwards off to the library for the summer reading program and to drop off some (overdue) books and videos. Then off to Tae Kwon Do with Yasmeen in the early evening.  We literally didn't come home until about 5:30pm from the time we left at 9am! I will need to take an "off day" soon so as not to burn out in the first week of summer vacation.  Tomorrow, I'll be sure to lay low once we get back from the Splashground in Colt's Neck.  Yep, another outing to keep everyone entertained.  In a couple of weeks, the girls will start their summer recreation/enrichment programs.  Yasmeen received her schedule for Band Camp today and Leena is on the hunt for a digital camera for her photography class.  Good times ahead!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Talk about ACTIVITY!!!

Last weekend started out normal enough.  We knew we had Leena's recital on Saturday and our family hike in our series of hikes with the rec department on Sunday.  Both went well, but what we didn't count on was Bonita going into labor and delivering a beautiful baby boy on Saturday afternoon, a week early, but perfectly PERFECT!  Joey was beside himself with overwhelming joy and love for his new son and we were instantly infatuated with Giovani Joseph Otero.  Unfortunately, with the ages of the girls, and Adam in tow, all 3 were not able to meet their new cousin.  They had to torturously wait downstairs in the main lobby while Mohammed and I took turns visiting the newest arrival. We will finally get to visit him at home tomorrow for a family BBQ--the girls can't wait!!

Leena's recital was wonderful.  She danced perfectly and was re-energized in her desire to continue taking classes.  She went from not wanting ANY MORE CLASSES AT ALL, to deciding she may want to take 2 classes next year!  Of course, she's also interested in 4-H and riding horses, so if that pans out, something will have to give :-) After her performance Saturday evening, we all headed out to Olive Garden to celebrate with a great dinner.  We arrived home beat from the busy day around 10pm, and we knew we had better get to bed quickly as Sunday promised to be another full day with early morning hiking and a visit to Gio, of course.

We were out the door Sunday by 7:55am and met up with our hiking guide (and at times, torturer) by 8:05am.  We were on our way to Alamuchy State Park in North Jersey, which took us about an hour to get to.  Today's hike was supposed to be easier than our first in April...no straight climbs up a mountain this month, thankfully, but a few more miles...5 to be exact.  The park was picturesque and the trees and bushes were in full bloom.  The terrain was flat (mostly) and so much easier to maneuver for Mohammed with Adam on his back.  It was easier for us all, and we had a much larger group than back in April...and gorgeous weather...high 60s...not too cold and not to warm.  Wish all our hikes could go this well.  We happened across a toad, a copperhead snake and various bugs, gnats and butterflies.  I was breaking in new boots, so much to my dismay, the backs of my ankles got sore about 2 miles into the hike and we made a pit stop for some much needed first aid.  Amazing what a little wound wash and a couple of bandaids can do!  After that, I was good to go.  Even Adam managed to hop out of his pack for a while and walk alongside us.  Well, not quite alongside us, but behind, in front of and all around us.  Note to self--the boy LOVES nature!  He wanted to stop and explore every 2 steps, so in order to make time, back in the carrier he went.  As a side benefit, our guide loves geocaching, and once I mentioned to him that I love it too, he planned to do several on the hike that were on the way!  We found SIX geocaches during the hike and it was great.  Of course, being the adventurer (aka: crazed and daring survivor man) he was, he found most of them and signed me in because he lept across rocks and down ditches so quickly that he could have given a cougar a run for his money.

This week has been a lot slower...Music class on Monday with Adam, finished all my CME by Wednesday and mailed it off to the Medical Board, a little geocaching with Brenda and hosted my monthly SCRAMP last night.  Today was Yasmeen's rank test to go from Blue Belt to Red Stripe in TKD.  Love watching her strut her stuff.  Hoping she'll consider going into competition next year since she's pretty good at what she does.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Breathing room...

We finished the month of May with a busy weekend full of activity and the last of my LOAD layouts.  I have to say that I am actually relieved that LOAD is over because now my focus can be fully on the task at hand:  politely pursuing the medical board with regards to my license reactivation, and competing all of my CME for this past 2 year cycle in the next week (even though it's not officially due until December 31st)!! I am trying to beat the deadline before the board meets again this month so that I can have everything available to them that they could possibly dream of asking for and hopefully avoid further delay...it's no guarantee though...they ARE bureaucrats!

In the meanwhile, we enjoyed ourselves these past couple of weekends with several events including Joey and Bonita's baby shower (Gio is due in 8 days), our town's Memorial Day Parade, a train ride, a bit of shopping, a birthday party for a neighborhood friend, a pool party at our neighbors and much more!  With the girls off of school for a couple of days, we sure made use of our time.  Today, Leena had a playdate and created a 2 page layout about one of the events this past weekend.  She did a great job! This coming weekend is just as busy.  Saturday we have Leena's jazz dance recital and Sunday is our monthly family hike, courtesy of our township recreation department (that is, if it doesn't rain).  Then it's back to school for the girls Monday morning while Adam and I attend his weekly music class.

Speaking of school, the girls will officially finish the 3rd and 5th grades in less than 3 weeks...and actually, only 14 more SCHOOL days if you ask them.  That means we are gearing up for summer vacation, even if we'll be staying local this year.  I can't believe how quickly this school year passed.
This summer also marks another milestone...**fingers crossed**...I'll be returning to medical practice after over 10 years home with the kids.  It's a new chapter for us, but I'm excited to return to work (at least p/t for now). We are looking into childcare options and getting things settled so that it'll be a smooth transition once all of my paperwork is set. And let's hope its set soon...my supervising physician (to-be) can only be so patient :-)

Well, that's all that's happening around here these days.  I'm sure I'll be posting again soon with some updated pictures of the events ahead.  "See" you soon!!

 My last few layouts:

 Leena's layout today!!