This was originally a post whining about a delay in seeing a medical specialist, but my pity party passed and now i'm back to regular life.
Starting a new garden bed is much, much more work than i had estimated. i have been hauling dirt over from a neighbor's yard (with their blessing of course) and it is pretty back-breaking work. I laid down a tarp in the back of the Suburban and shoveled so much dirt in that the back end of the 'burb sags. Then i wheelbarrow it into the side yard, where my 30-foot by 8-foot strip of dirt is. We also have a small strip of dirt along the southeast-facing wall of the house and i have decided to put trellises there and grow beans, to shade that side of the house and try to keep summer temperatures down.
I've been saving gallon milk jugs for my poor man's drip irrigation system, and have even enlisted the Relief Society to save more for me, since we don't drink that much milk. I thought i had come up with the milk jug idea myself, adapted from a soil-saturation test in one of my gardening books, but it turns out i may have seen it before and subconsciously stored it. If you look at the bottom of this PDF, you'll see a brief description of what i'm doing, titled "Try This: Drip Irrigation for Garden Plants." I also found this very cool site showing the use of unglazed Mexican ollas for slow-release irrigation. very cool. i will probably cover the jugs with little foil tents to protect them from UV damage and keep the water from getting too hot.
Paul's birthday went well, very well. I found babysitting for Eli and so Dan and I were able to take him to Dizzyland and we had an awful lot of fun. The cultural snob in me says "You should have taken him to the symphony instead!" Paul would have enjoyed that too (and it would have been cheaper!) but I have to admit we had a great time.
It's hard to believe that my 3 lb 14 oz preemie is such a big, real human being now. I think about how horrible it would have been for Dan if we had died and I'm struck down with awe and humility. The arrival of any child is a moment of force and great impact, but even now six years after it all happened, the memories bring me to tears. It was such a horrible time and so much goodness and wonder came of it. Thank you a million times beyond measure to everyone who rallied around us, and everybody who would have rallied around us if you had been able to. I can't go on; I'm overcome.