Morning Dawn at God's Acre in Old Salem, originally uploaded by NCBrian

When I christened this blog "Dad by Dawn," it was for two reasons:

  1. As an homage to one of the best horror films of all time, and
  2. In anticipation of my early-morning fatherly duties.
It has proven to be a fitting name. As I type this from the couch in the basement, at 6:45 AM on a Saturday, Ashley is sleeping in my lap while her mother catches up on rest in the bedroom.

I have made peace with the dawn. What with dogs and babies and a long commute, I had to incorporate a new morning ritual in order to get everything done. The transition has not been as difficult as I feared. In fact, it has become one of my favorite parts of the day!

Ashley is extra-cute after a full night's rest. When I change her overnight diaper, I try to be calm and quiet, and not to get her all riled up. But that never works. By the time I have her into a fresh diaper, she's all smiles and open eyes. She wants to kick her feet and tell me about her dreams. And I can't help but smile and whisper back. I don't know any better way to start the day.

Daddy Drinks: Brain Hemorrhage

Brain Hemorrhage Anyone?, originally uploaded by TangoPango

For a supposedly horror-themed blog, I don't write much about scary stuff. I think I'm still recovering from the terrifying delivery process. You want gore? Ashley's birth was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen.

Anyway, it's time to remedy that shortcoming with a creepy cocktail recipe, just in time for Hallowe'en! This one is fun for the theatrical aspects of its creation, as well as the finished result. Pour 3/4 ounces of Peach Schnapps into a shot glass. Float 1 tablespoon of Baileys Irish Cream on top. Drop 1/2 tsp of grenadine through the Baileys to create the goo spatter.

It looks awesomely disgusting, and tastes (unsurprisingly) like peaches and cream. Not a bad flavor, if you can get past the gummy viscosity of the "brain." If you're looking for more disgusting mixed drinks, Drinknation has an entire section devoted to Halloween recipes. Boo-ttoms up!


Into the Light thru the Rain, originally uploaded by darin11111

I am daily amazed at what my daughter is learning to do, and the pace of these changes is increasing. When she was very small, we couldn't see many differences from one week to the next. Now it seems like she won't stay a baby forever, after all.

No longer is she a one-trick pony; her whole body is coordinating itself to perform the advanced maneuvers. She can roll both ways, front-to-back and back-to-front. Soon after figuring out how to reach out and grab things, she worked out how to cram them into her open maw.

She even grew her first two teeth already! I tell people that she is very advanced. Clearly, only an extra-intelligent baby could produce teeth before she turns four months old.

Indecent Proposal

This is pretty much exactly how I popped the question with my wife.