Approximately 16 months after my mother's first appointment in Newark and two yrs since I started collecting documents, my mother was recognized and registered in the AIRE. The delay involved a single document, which ended up taking a year to get due to bureaucratic screw-ups at NJ vital records. The upside of the delay, however, was that I was able to conduct (parts of) the final visit in Italian I would like to thank everyone who provided advice and guidance on this site, particularly mler, Italysearcher, Carmine, PeterTimber, Javaislife and Kontessa. Indeed, if it were not for Carmine's rock-solid advice on document collection at the get-go, I don't think our case would have gone as smoothly as it did. Again, much appreciation to this wonderful community!
Thanks, everyone. @Kontessa, no, I was not recognized that day. One more visit (I hope) and I'm recognized! The next project would be jus matrimonio for my dad, whose application was rejected for a pre-1912 naturalization when his GF was a minor. And then jus matrimonio for my husband, who is not Italian.