Dear Bella

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My sweet little Bella,

Tonight I’m having trouble sleeping. A friend of ours just lost his mom to cancer, and when I close my eyes it is all I can think about. So I thought I’d take a little break from laying in bed and checking the clock. I was surfing the net, and then I decided to peek in on you just because I felt like it.

Did you know that you are so beautiful when you are sleeping? You look so peaceful curled up in the blankets hugging one of your “friends” (tonight it is the lamb). Just looking at you comforts me. I am so so so lucky to have you in my life, and I just wanted to jot down this little note to tell you that I love you.

Last week, when my mom was leaving for the airport, I told you I was sad. When we got home, you said, “Mommy, are you still sad Dee Dee is going back to Texas?” I said yes, but I’d be ok, and not to worry about it.  You grabbed around my neck and gave me a huge snuggle (full with an uuuuummph). Then you looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “Does that make you feel any better?”. It does. I love your sweet snuggles – they melt my heart. Daddy does, too – we had fun having a family snuggle tonight before bed. You are such a loving addition to our family – I can’t imagine life without you 🙂

I think I found a preschool I like for you today. I’m excited about that – but sad at the same time, because it will mean less time that we get to spend having mommy/Bella days. I guess I have to let you grow up sometime, right?

Well, I’m getting drowsy now, and I think I can finally get some sleep. Looking forward to my big snuggle in the morning.

Love you,


Is it already 2011?

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I swear the time goes by way too fast. People always say that about kids growing up too fast – but I think it is just life in general in some ways.

I meant to post about Christmas – but didn’t think to do so when I got back, and now the memories are already jumbled, so I’ll just skip over it a bit and say we did have a great time visiting with both clans, minus a little croup towards the end of the trip. Bella, as usual, was spoiled rotten in both venues, and loved playing with all of her relatives. She and Chandler in particular had a great time together – it is fun for me to see, and reminds me of what Chrissie and I must have been somewhat like as kids. Her favorite Christmas presents so far are a Dora guitar, her kitchen and Violet the dog. She now bounces UP and DOWN on her horsie to the music of Dora the Explorer. I need to get it on video. She is still singing Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman and Away in the Manger daily – so it seems Christmas is not quite over in the Neill house.

Poor little Bella has just been sick most of the new year. Sometimes it seems her germs are never-ending. She had croup in Texas, then was well for like two days before she came down with a little cold, which (I think) led to a really bad ear infection (Did you know kids can vomit due to an ear infection?! Apparently the pain was very bad, but she didn’t mention her ears even once…) She is currently on antibiotics – but I have to say, I don’t think they are working (as this afternoon she was very cranky and pulling on her ear), so I am going to take her back to the doctor tomorrow. Bella is normally a very happy child, but when she is not feeling well you can just tell because she is crankier about everything, and makes a big deal of objecting to directions that she normally would follow without skipping a beat, and she stops talking and telling us what she wants opting to throw tantrums instead. I’m hoping that we can get this figured out real soon, as it just makes me sad that she seems unhappy when I’m so used to her cheerful disposition.

Beyond the negative of sickness that we’ve seen so far in 2011, we have started some really fun things too. That one week she felt great – we started gymnastics class – which she LOVES. The teachers are so energetic and enthusiastic – it is the perfect setting for her. We also started back at music class – which is always a hit with her. I swear, that class could have been made specifically with my child in mind the way she takes to it. She also got a visit from Dee Dee; we went to the beach, the farmers market and we had a real nice time redecorating the living room (which I LOVE!).

I’m currently touring all the preschools in the area. Wow. It is going to be really hard to make a decision. We are lucky that we have so many great options in the area – but they are all so different, and I am, of course, obsessing about which program will be just right for her.

Anyhow – just wanted to write down a few thoughts tonight since it had been a while. Hopefully I will get more motivated and get some of those good pictures we got (from my NEW camera) over Christmas on the blog one of these days.