Baby, Personal, Thoughts

announcing blueberry

Happy 2015! It’s a new year and {another} new phase for me… pregnant with #3, our highly-anticipated blueberry. My little boy is due at the end of June/beginning of July. I’m 21 weeks now and feeling great!

A few thoughts about this pregnancy:

[PRO] getting to set up a real “nursery,” finally!
[CON] everything I own is pink.

[PRO] a BOY!
[CON] the pressure of choosing the perfect name.

[PRO] already have pretty summer maternity clothes!
[CON] being a giant beach ball this June while my toddlers run circles around me.

[PRO] a huge incentive to potty train Sophia now!
[CON] the difficulty of potty training Sophia.

[PRO] my husband’s excitement to have a son!
[CON] labor… which I’ve said twice I’d never do again.

[PRO] everyone says it’s easier to go from 2 –> 3 children than from 1 –> 2!
[CON] 3 kids 3 and under {eek}.

[PRO] fulfilling the commandment of circumcision!
[CON] blazing a new trail, as usual.


Seriously though, we’re thrilled. And for the first time, I’m pregnant with one of my sisters! Christine is only a few weeks behind me. Based on how late Sophia and Zoe were {my womb is a super-happy place to be, apparently}, I actually think Christine will have her baby first… but who knows? This summer is going to be a beautiful adventure!



Baby, Married Life, Problems, Thoughts

being challenged

It was only a few weeks ago that our angelic, well-behaved toddler “tested the waters” of defiance by looking at me and saying NO when I asked her to put something away. She stated her point more strongly by tossing the toy on the ground and moving several steps away. I remember the moment clearly because I got a rush of adrenaline. “I have to win this battle!” I thought to myself, shocked at the possibility of losing control of my daughter already, picturing a giant F next to my name as a parent.

Continue reading “being challenged”

Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life

not one but two

In our family, we’ve found that the test of a father comes with the second child. When we only had one baby, Gregory was involved, but his responsibilities were limited, while my main job was caring for Sophia. I had warned him this would change when Zoe was born, and we’d have to ‘double up,’ each taking one of the girls at times. The transition has been seamless – so amazingly graceful that only when I stop to observe where we are do I realize how my husband has jumped into a new role with enthusiasm. In just the two months Zoe has been alive, Gregory has changed hundreds of Sophia’s diapers… put in countless ponytails and bobby pins… and become an expert at mealtimes, a ready and willing helper when I need a hand in the kitchen. He wakes Sophia up in the morning and gets her ready for bed at night. He’s developed a few new traditions, including a teeth-brushing routine she looks forward to every night.

Bottom line: my husband is a great dad. The leap from one child to two has reinforced our commitment to each other and to our family.


Baby, Married Life, Personal, Thoughts


There’s a reason I haven’t posted much this year…


Her name, for now, is Strawberry Bartos, and we expect her arrival in 3-4 weeks. It’s been a wonderful pregnancy, though it’s starting to become a bit of a challenge to keep up with Sophia Ruth these days!  My Sophia is eighteen months old, and at times she behaves like a precocious toddler… other times she’s just a baby who wants to be snuggled and kissed.


I am very, very eager to meet my second daughter. I’ve thought many times about how our first meeting will go. My favorite opening line goes like this: “Hi there. I don’t think we’ve been introduced. My name is Mommy.” 

The days when Gregory and I were the parents of just one child are rapidly running out. With the birth of our newest pink berry, we’ll have “the Girls.” I’ll take the girls to the store. We’ll put the girls to bed. Right now it’s still hard to imagine. The only thing we know is they’ll be close in age – appearance and personality are a delightful mystery!

I didn’t plan {if there was ever a plan} that my girls would be this close in age. I had pictured another year or two with Sophia and I enjoying life in our Beetle. But for me, there’s something about the excitement of being blessed with a child, with the ability to conceive and carry one, that removes any doubts about the timing. During this pregnancy, two of my sweet friends lost babies, one very early on and the other a few months farther along. It makes me cry just to type that… and makes this new baby girl even more precious to me.



Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Thoughts

january {2013}

since Hanukkah…

  1. my exceptionally talented brother has released his second album, to great acclaim. If you don’t have it yet, what are you waiting for?! {click here for more details} Which reminds me, Pete’s blog is amazing. I’ve almost decided to stop writing and just read what he comes up with. His posts can be pretty deep – even Sophia doesn’t always understand them. Take a look at and see what you think.
  2. we moved! Our worldly possessions {which turned out to be quite a bit more sizable than we thought} have been transferred from Haven Ridge Lane in Charlotte to our new residence on Lauren Drive in Indian Trail, thanks to our fabulous Bella Torah community. So here we are, in our mid-twenties, owning a house! {technically, I suppose we own a part of it, for now} I absolutely love our new home. It’s an endearing little place, asking politely to be taken care of. The outside is a cheerful yellow; the inside is full of wallpapered borders. Sophia has her own room {for now, as my mother-in-law would say with a wink}, Greg has space to work, and I sometimes get lost in the kitchen because it’s so large. The only part left of moving in is to hang our mezuzah, which we plan to do before the end of January.
  3. my grandfather turned 75! The entire family {core Squicciarini group + Bartos segment + Spurlock segment + Alexander segment} went to Vero Beach, FL to celebrate with him! The memories I have from this trip are wonderful. I can still hardly believe we were all there! The night we arrived, we had a surprise birthday party for Poppop at the Grand Harbor club. It was a huge success! {click here for the video of his entrance, courtesy of my uncle Adam Berlin.} Kudos to Nana on an incredible job planning the party and coordinating the details of our visit. Greg & I stayed for a few days, enjoyed every moment with my grandparents, used their hot tub as much as possible, and even took a drive down to Pompano Beach to see Greg’s grandma one day.
  4. 2013 has started! Wow. It’s the year my baby berry turns 1. The year Christine gets married. The year my parents celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. And much more, of course. We “rang in the new year” with a mellow soiree at Isaac’s townhouse followed by a black & white movie at home… since we are no longer frivolous Young Things but responsible parents.
  5. we’re doing the Whole30 challenge through January! We were inspired by Christine and Isaac, who carefully researched this plan and put a lot of thought into determining they would do it. {“Planning and Preparation Are Key,” the Whole Nine website announces.} We, on the other hand, jumped into it hastily with great enthusiasm but little forethought, resulting in a few oddly mismatched lunches and some moments of panic at breakfast time. However, I’m happy to report we’re almost halfway through the challenge now and going strong! After a trip to Costco and several runs to Trader Joe’s, our fridge is brimful with fresh veggies and meat. The Whole30 plan cuts out sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, and chemicals {very similar to the paleo plan}. It focuses on vegetables and protein, with fruit and nuts in a minor role. I think it’s going to be a great “reset” for our family! So far, I’ve had the chance to explore new cooking methods, like making a balsamic vinegar reduction and creating my own pecan butter {yummy!}. The new diet has been an adjustment for Sophia as well… in terms of nursing, like switching from caramel frappuccinos to straight black coffee, I suspect. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes! I expect to be zipping around town with tons of energy and radiating good health.


Greg & Morgan, Thoughts

happy hanukkah


Remember the wondrous works that He {Adonai} has done,
    His miracles, and the judgments He uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, His servant,
    children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
Psalm 105.5-6


to our family and friends,

Praise G-d for bringing us to this season! As the Festival of Lights comes to a close, we reflect on the blessing you have been to us and the light you have brought into our lives. We pray that love and community will flourish as together, we serve the Light of the World.

keep shining,

the Bartos family
Kislev 5773


Baby, Greg & Morgan, Married Life, Squicciarini family


month at a glance…

  • hosted Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Spurlock, along with my parents, for a very elegant dinner here {used my “family” china, the set of Haviland Blue Garland inherited from my great-grandmother}… thrilled to have a chance to honor the new couple in our home!! And SO proud of my husband for opting to learn the Sheva Berachot by heart and sing them for Josh & Julianna! {Isn’t he amazing?!} It was a very special time for us… kind of like “paying forward” the memorable hospitality we were shown during our own wedding week last year. {My goodness, was it only last year?? We are starting to feel like old married people!} One of my favorite parts was dessert, a surprisingly scrumptious gluten-free buckwheat pumpkin pie topped with parve pumpkin flavored soy vanilla ice cream {yum!}… another was when Joshua carried in a tree to give my parents… a brilliant and noteworthy gift for those horticultural enthusiasts.
  • took the newlyweds to the airport so they could catch a plane to Paris!
  • stood in line with Greg & the berry for 2 hours to vote early… worth every minute just to hear one of the librarians say: “We’ve seen a lot of babies this week, but I must say yours is the cutest one I’ve seen yet.” {grin!}
  • had a Shabbat picnic at the newly renovated Stallings Park… beautiful weather! Tried to put Sophia in one of the baby swings but she objected loudly.
  • painted a little nightstand for Sophia to match her dresser {a piece of furniture leftover from Mary’s move into Julianna’s old room at The Residence}
  • tried this recipe for gluten-free kung pao chicken and loved it!
  • attended a 13th birthday party for my cousin Jonathan Stelzl {kind of a “becoming a man” event}, an Italian potluck down in Waxhaw complete with speeches by the articulate Stelzl children, blessings, and singing
  • ventured down to VW for some maintenance… the berry waited very patiently with me for, yes, an hour. To get a new headlight put in. And that was with an appointment. {sigh}
  • celebrated Rosh Chodesh Kislev at The Roost {the Spurlock II’s} with a cozy little crowd + fancy French-sounding beverages
  • pulled out my yarn stash and started knitting! Yay for cold weather!
  • 2 dates with Christine – first a consignment store run in downtown Matthews with tea at Dilworth, then a leisurely stroll around Southpark
  • moved the berry up to 3 meals a day… typically oatmeal or mashed banana for breakfast; applesauce, hummus, or yogurt at lunch; and a veggie or protein for dinner {still nursing her about 4x/day}
  • had a “men’s” Erev Shabbat here, one of our largest meals around the table {Greg, Peter, Brock Wright, Caleb Eades, and Colby Foster, plus Mary [my assistant chef], Sophia, and I}… a great evening! Thankfully there was enough food!
  • double dated with the Spurlock II’s at Dean & Deluca… we sat around a hightop table sharing hot spinach artichoke dip comparing notes on married life – loved it!
  • spent a very very quiet weekend laying low in our home, getting extra rest and recuperating from a cold that attacked our family {the berry’s first one… a pitifully stuffy nose and tiny cough}
  • yet to come: Thanksgiving!