Leaves are falling off of the trees here in Seattle. First they turn a miraculous orange, then they finally begin their fall to the ground, where lately, Judah and I are watching in amazement.

Life truly takes on a new meaning when you are experiencing it with your 18 month old. Judah's fascination with all things outside is inspiring. We took a walk the other evening, after a particularly stressful day at the hospital- and Judah melted it away. He took a leaf from the ground and threw it in the air as hard as he could. We watched it float to the ground together, and it was almost like we were in a normal life. Like we were just Mommy and Judah- and nothing crazy was going on. Our lives were temporarily perfect for that moment.

Then, Judah took a leaf out of a puddle of mud and rain water and shook it in my face vigorously. I laughed and shook it back at him. His big grin and bright blue eyes don't leave room for any annoyance at the mud that became plastered to my glasses and hair. Life is wonderful.

Gabriel and Judah have not had much interaction. Judah has seen me hold him a few times, and he knows he is a baby... But it's not going to click until that baby is home with us in Boise. Then, Judah will realize that he's our baby.

Judah has a doll now, which his father hates, but is a much needed practice baby. We rock the baby doll to sleep and sing it songs, give it a binky and are sweet to the baby... Until Judah gets bored and throws it on its head.

I bought this doll on purpose, because I hoped that in some way it would slowly and gently introduce Judah into the concept of a baby in his world. I think it's becoming apparent that the baby concept is going to have to make it's own grand entrance... And how it will go, I am unsure.

Gabe will be coming home eventually (we hope and pray), and that eventually could be soon or it could be months away. But as it is now, he will have at least a feeding tube and most likely oxygen. I think the concept of a baby brother is difficult enough with out adding in the 'extremely fragile' part. Of course, you have to be gentle and careful with other babies, but what Judah won't realize is that this baby is already changing Judah's life tremendously.

First, we came to Seattle where the Ronald McDonald house is our 'home base' and Judah has been back and forth to grandparents and aunties houses from time to time while we attend to Gabe. Not only that, but when Gabe finally does get to come home, Judah's playground days will be limited and sanitized.

Judah has been a greats sport in all of these changes. He has been our joy when it's hard to see past this situation. When we run low on hope, he keeps us inspired.

For now, we continue to take this journey day by day, and we are thankful beyond words for our Judah and our Gabriel.

JUDAH 18 months:

GABRIEL 7 weeks:

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