Thursday, December 28, 2006

Catching up

Yes, we're finally catching up on the blog. Been busy with important responsibilities: picking individual hairs out of our brushes and combs and tying the ends together; attempting to move each individual toe without moving the other toes; arranging the towels in the linen closet according to size, then changing our minds and rearranging them according to color, then realizing size really was the best way to go.

So maybe next time you'll remember how much we have going on in our lives before complaining about how infrequently we post something on our blog.

Anyway, we got to see cousin Tom, Emily, Brenna, Aunt Linda, and Uncle Ronnie again this past weekend. They drove down to Tucson to have lunch with us, braving quite a drive with little Brenna. We, of course, forgot our camera, so we'll just point you to the photo Tom took and posted on their blog,

The Brokaws kindly fed us dinner on Christmas night, and Darrick got to play with trains.

Playing trains

Months ago, Christine sent me this little surprise in the mail (sorry to take so long to mention this gem--Darrick and I both laughed and laughed):

A gift from Christine

Of course, it could mean that I'm welcoming you to Italian 101, but most of you know that I wear it in case people don't realize I'm pregnant by looking at me. You can't really tell, can you?

34 weeks

To recap:

13 weeks

13 weeks!

34 weeks

34 weeks

We've also been to a few childbirth education classes, which we might write about in a future post, when we have more time. Until then, imagine yourself having a slumber party on the floor of your doctor's waiting room, watch Rosemary's Baby, breathe like you just climbed several flights of stairs, and you'll get the gist.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Visiting Brenna, Emily, and Tom

We visited Tom and Emily last weekend and got to meet their new little girl, Brenna, the little peanut. When we arrived, she was sleeping, so Darrick took this picture without the flash (didn't want to wake her).

Mom and Tom were there, and Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Linda, although you wouldn't know it from the photos. Darrick focused exclusively on Brenna in every shot. Sorry, everybody. We did notice you were there. Honest. Here's one of the few where Darrick came out from behind the camera. As usual, more photos are at

Darrick's portrait of our son

This piece was done by the artist in ink on organic canvas. On display at the Melanie Mallon Moving Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Baby's first photo shoot

We went in for an ultrasound yesterday. What an incredible experience to see him, his arms, legs, profile, top of his head, beating heart, spine, rib cage, kidneys--the detail was awesome! He was extremely active and stubborn. The technician exclaimed that she couldn't get him to move to the right position for the necessary measurements, yet that was not because he wasn't moving. He was tooling around the womb constantly. She said that most babies are not nearly this active. Of course, this explains why it is always difficult for our doctor to get a fix on the heartbeat for a long enough time to check it against her watch.

Anyway, the baby is healthy and about a week ahead in development, although she said that doesn't change the due date. So I guess we really are having a giant. At least we'll get a goose that lays golden eggs out of the deal, right?

And as anyone can tell from the last photo below, we are having a boy. We've added some labels to help you all out. We couldn't tell at all from looking at it. She had to explain several times what was what. Like those inkblot tests or seeing patterns in a cloud. Sure, now we can see that it's a boy. Or a unicorn.

We are of course thrilled that he looks healthy and normal in the ultrasound, and we are relieved finally to be done with all that pronoun awkwardness. On top of it all, we finally found those car keys we lost last June. Who would have thought?

(Click on an image to link to a larger version of the image if these are too small to see clearly.)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Kitchen's done, finally

So, we're finally done (pretty much) with our kitchen remodeling. Took a week of major overhaul, plus the last few weeks of tweaking. We still have a few miscellaneous tasks to complete, and I was waiting to post until we had EVERYTHING done, but that would take forever, so here are some of the before and after photos. See the entire renovation in progress (some 70 photos), if you really don't have anything better to do, by clicking here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Either I'm pregnant or I swallowed a motorcycle helmet

Or both, I suppose. Can't start teaching the importance of safety too soon, eh?

I'm showing a lot more than I expected to at this point, although I'm sure as the months go on, Darrick and I will look back at this and laugh, because I will be gigantenormohuge, and this will look like minor bloating in comparison. At the rate I'm going, by the end of the second trimester, I should be able to set my tummy with four place settings for dinner. I'll have to drive from the backseat. By the end of the third, foliage will wither and die in my shadow. I may need to incorporate my belly as a city. Nations will ask me to stop blocking the view of their satellites (or will attempt to hire me for the same reason).

I'll suddenly be stricken with an obviously uncharacteristic tendency to exaggerate and a compulsive need to tell bad belly jokes. Did you hear the one about my belly, the priest, and the rabbi on a deserted island . . . ?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's got a beat, but you can't dance to it.

Well, you can--if you're some kind of spaz.

We heard the heartbeat this morning at our doctor visit, and it's crazy fast, only further confirming our suspicion that we are spawning a future superhero, apparently with the faster-than-lightning superpower package (complete with superhuman running capabilities as well as sleight-of-hand, speed-reading, and auctioneering skills). Have a listen for yourself here.

The doctor used a device that looked suspiciously like an old transistor radio jury-rigged to a Fisher Price microphone painted a glossy black. Perhaps the other doctors got to the supply cabinet first this morning. At least there was no visible duct tape. It was all very bizarre, like listening for messages from outer space, our own little SETI project.

I am at the tail end of my 13th week, the last of the first trimester. I'm already showing a little tummy, a bit early for a first-time pregnancy, or so I hear. I'll post pictures as soon as I find the cord for connecting the camera to the computer.

I'm feeling pretty good these days, after weeks of extreme fatigue. How extreme? Well, here's a little excerpt from my dishwashing routine:

Wash a plate.
Wash another plate.
Wash three forks.
Rest for longer because that really wiped me out.
"Accidentally" break the rest of the dishes, buy paper products, sleep for the next ten hours.

Our new dishwasher arrived yesterday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

First Prenatal Appointment, My New Powers, Cappy Gets an Honorary Doctorate

OK, so we went to our first prenatal appointment yesterday, and it turned out to be part one of a two-part appointment. Because of all the information gathering (including lab tests, questionnaires, etc.) and questions women usually have, University Physicians now starts with a nursing appointment, to get all that out of the way, then helps you choose an OB and make a separate appointment. Considering Darrick and I were there for two hours yesterday, I have to say I really appreciate this setup. I can't imagine then having to go through the doctor's exam as well. And we got to talk to the nurse about all kinds of questions, dismissing the old wives' tales about cats, for example, and getting good advice about how to prepare the pets, particularly Gonzo and Tarzan, who are most likely to jump up and try to squirm onto our laps while we have the baby in hand. The solution? Start holding a doll now to get them used to it. Brilliant! Or, I should say, brilliant in theory. We don't have any dolls to practice with, so I'll have to dig a stuffed animal out of storage. Don't know whether this will work until we try it, but it seems solid.

The most bizarre development of this pregnancy so far is that after a lifetime of having the weakest sense of smell you could imagine (short of having no sense of smell), suddenly I can smell everything. And that's not always a good thing, because seriously, whoever is reading this, odds are you really stink. In the interest of using my powers for good, I am thinking about seeing if the Tucson police force could use another drug sniffer. Sure, the dogs might not accept me at first, but I don't think even the fiercest doberman will dare to mess with a moody pregnant woman.

And our latest name discussions have hit upon an obvious naming solution, boy or girl: Doctor. Is that not perfect? No savings-draining college tuition for Doctor Mallon. Plenty of Laurel and Hardy schtick at the prenatal appointments:

"How's Doctor?"
"The doctor's fine, but don't you want to know about the baby?"
"Yes, how's Doctor?"

And so forth. The classroom image is also hilarious. Picture a first-grade classroom: "Doctor Mallon?" A little hand shoots up. "Here."

In the interest of preventing confusion, however, and because Cappy still makes us giggle, we'll continue to use that name for the time being.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cappy Sassafrass McGonnigle Mallon

I feel almost silly blogging this considering everyone already knows, but we have a baby on the way! Woo hoo! We have already decided, of course, boy or girl, that the first name will be Cappy. As Darrick says, "How can a teacher not like a kid named Cappy?" It's short for "Captain, my Captain," which we like the idea of making people say. Other candidates: "Ruler of the Free World" and "How Dare I Speak in Your Presence" (Howie for short).

So the lovely picture above is from the doctor visit for confirmation. The nurse said, "Do you want to keep this?" And I said, "That's disgusting. . . . Yes." Note the biohazard specimen bag, which surely means she senses the superhero hormones of our child and wants to protect the world, which cannot yet handle such power.

We go in for our first official appointment next week. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Laszlo, Drapes, Haircut, Yawning

Laszlo has been out of confinement for a while, fully recovered, it seems. Mel finished sewing the drapes for the family room, and Darrick finished putting them up. Still need to make a few more so that they bunch up nicely. Mel got a haircut.

Think this is all too far fetched to be true? Well, check out the photo documentation. (Note that most of the pictures are set to private, visible only to invited friends and family. Email us to get an invitation. We sent only a few, figuring most people wouldn't care.)

Oh, the excitement of our lives.

Sorry so brief and boring. We are both working without days off for the next few weeks to a month.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Foster's 13th birthday dinner

We've posted photos from Foster's 13th birthday dinner at Blue Wasabi. We forgot our camera, unfortunately, so we're blatantly stealing some of the photos the Fawcetts took. See them at the link above, including photos of the birthday girl (not shown here). The photos are limited access to family and friends, so we'll need to invite you if you can't see them all and want to (and you are a family member or friend).

Dinner was delicious, the preparation was entertaining, and Foster was charming as usual. She doesn't miss a beat with the joking around. Many adults, when you joke around with them, will look puzzled for a minute before understanding spreads across their faces, but Foster always joins right in and shoots something back that's funnier than anything we said. Awesome kid. We can't believe we've known her through nine birthdays! Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Melanie's personal blog

OK, so you all are probably wondering how ninjas and fictional meth labs qualify as Mallon Family News. You might even be thinking, "Hey, if this is the kind of crap those Mallon people are going to post, well, I'm not coming back."

Fair enough. I have set up a blog for my rants and ramblings so that this blog might remain purely for news about what's happening with the Mallons. If you care to read my semi-regular personal comments, go to Plaid Lettuce, where I will post soon about something random, absurd, annoying, or whatever strikes me fancy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Am Ninja, He Is Ninja, She Is Ninja, Too

Ask a Ninja

Especially Question 17

In the mail

OK, so this is the stupidest reason to post at all, and I shouldn't even be on the blog during my workday (I pledge allegiance to the procrastination . . .), but I just got our mail and I have to ask:

How did the Consolidated Plastics Company, Inc., get my name and address, and why on earth are they sending me their catalog for laboratory supplies?

At first I thought it was a catalog for the person who owned our house before us, a college biology teacher, but no, there's my name and address in that attractive 1980s futuristic computer font that catalogs always use for addresses.

What on earth did I ever order or subscribe to that would have clued them in on, I mean, made them think erroneously that I have some kind of home laboratory? Don't they wonder when a residential name and address shows up on the mailing list? Do people actually have home laboratories? Of course some do, I'm sure, sort of the home office for splicing genes on the weekend, no doubt, but really, how many people would have a laboratory in their home that would require a catalog full of bulk supplies?

All I can think is that someone found out about my meth lab. It was supposed to be a secret, a surprise for Darrick's birthday. Oh, well. At least he'll still be surprised by all the different flavors I concocted. Strawberry Rhubarb methamphetamine is out of this world!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

We joined The Cult (not a cult--THE Cult)


Yes, that photo is from our camera at KFMA Day. Darrick got some excellent shots and video clips (The Cult; The Strokes). So sad that we can get only 30 seconds at a time, but how great that we got those 30-second segments at all.

Incredible shows, and our first chance to get out and do something together, now that Laszlo is doing better. Woo hoo! Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 28, 2006

Top Ten Uses for Laszlo's E Collar

1. Disguise for entering the canine witness protection program
2. Funnel (minus dog head, unless said funnel is being used for liver snacks)
3. Megaphone
4. Party hat
5. Bishop or cardinal hat
6. Cheap hearing aid
7. Old-timey phonograph part replacement
8. Elizabethan theater costume (duh)
9. Lampshade
10. Vacuum attachment

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Viva la Laszlo!

I guess we'll open our family blog with the best news ever:

After being gone for four long days, Laszlo returned, but with serious injuries (if he hadn't already been neutered, one of the lacerations would have neutered him). We did not at first realize how serious it was because he seemed fine. The vet who performed the surgery was shocked when the x-rays came back. She said that Laszlo had the strongest constitution of any dog she has ever seen (and considering she works at the ONLY emergency pet clinic in Tucson, that does mean something). Apparently, any other dog would have clearly been suffering with the injuries he had, but he seemed almost unaffected.

He's now recovering in his circus cage in our family room, where he'll be stuck for at least another week, until his staples come out and he fully heals. In the meantime, we're enjoying the great reception we get from his cone. Posted by Picasa