Tag Archives: family

Guys’ weekend @ home

The Boy and I are hanging out in our underwear today. At least, we are when we’re not outside in knee-deep (or waist-deep, depending on how you do the math, and which drift you step in) snow. The Wife and Number Two are in the Greater Chicagoland Metropolitan Area with a friend going to a quilt show (or maybe going to *the* quilt show, YMMV), so The Boy and I are on our own.

Of course, The Wife and Co. had to push their departure ahead by a day to beat The Great and Almighty Spring “I’m Gonna Snow Like Frickin’ Hell” Storm of Ought-Eight. So they left yesterday at one. By six, I could barely see across the road.

I knew the storm was coming, so I rented a movie (“I Am Legend”), a Wii, and a couple games. We’ve got food (but are running perilously low on beer!) and entertainment, but I’m really hoping we’ll be able to make it out of the driveway tomorrow. If not, you may be hearing from me quite a bit here. I think both of us could use a good session at The Chocolate Shake House.

Household of drinkers

Yeah, that’s us, alright. Here at Casa del Beest, we take our drinkin’ seriously. It’s Sunday morning, and we’ve got two kinds of tea (one a chai-style thingie made from “scratch” — no, I didn’t go out and pick tasty looking twigs…) and some orange juice on tap. Friday evening, The Boy and I racked five gallons of brown ale into secondary fermentation. Pretty much anytime, any day, we’re up for a good cup of coffee. Perhaps the two biggest signs of how into our cups we are:

  1. The taste of the water can make it or break it (we prefer “wet” with no discernable gas, mineral, or other contaminents), and has occasionally resulted in raised voices
  2. The Boy has never met a cup/glass/bottle of something he didn’t like, especially if it comes in a combo like milk-root beer-ginger beer-coffee-milk-regular beer.


I just bopped down to the Cities last night and came back this morning. My mom is working on a play, and had a reading at a local playwright’s workshop. Some local actors came in and read the parts, then they and the audience members gave mom a whole bunch of feedback on what worked and what needs work.

It was pretty neat to see that sort of creative give-and-take happening live and unrehearsed right there in front of me. I took some pics, but they’re barely usable. What did I expect, holding the camera for 1.5 second exposures of moving people. I mean, seriously.

Update, part II

Well, The Boy has only peed on the floor three times this afternoon. Of course, he’s also peed on the couch three times. Let’s hear it for the first day of potty training! He’s getting better, though. He made it to his potty once, and once, when I asked him, “Do you need to pee?” the answer was yes. Definitively. We even almost made it to the potty. 😉


The Boy and Number Two are doing well. The Boy is full of energy, bouncing, dancing, and spinning around the house, helping me brew, and yes, peeing on the floor. Number Two is full of smiles for everyone but me, apparently, though just today, I finally got him to smile by singing some goofy made-up blues variant. He (Number Two) is also holding his head up by himself for a minute or two at a crack, not to mention getting more and more interested in looking around.


I made a Northern Brewer IPA kit yesterday, and all went really well, except that I killed my yeast before I even pitched it. Yeah, I left it in the car in freezing temperatures. But only for a couple weeks. *sigh* I ran into the local BPC, grabbed a packet of ale yeast, and pitched that this afternoon. We’ll see what happens. And in the meantime, I’ve got my drink on with the help of a 750mL Rare Vos Belgian-style amber ale. Yummy, fizzy, and fruity. Thanks Ellen & Steve!


After almost a whole year with nothing in the house but homemade and bakery bread, I have a couple of observations:

  1. Store-bought bread is invariably crappy, spongy, flavorless nothing
  2. The Wife still hasn’t learned how to make a straight cut in a fresh loaf 😉

As you were.

Update #20080320

I’ve been a busy boy for a while, but have a little down time, so I figured I’d bring you all up to date. I know: “oooooooooh,” right?


Anyway, my balls are damn near healed, and that’s a good thing. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, I was kidding when I was talking about putting pics on the ‘net. Unless I get paid better than I currently am. 😉


Picking brewing up again has been really nice as far as hobbies go. As far as I’m concerned, it’s *totally tits* to have a keg of brew in the basement. I’ve even helped The Boy refine his pouring technique (his main problems were that he didn’t hold the tap all the way open, then didn’t close it soon enough; heh). In fact, having a keg in the basement might be a little *too* tits, if that’s possible. My friends and I (but mostly me) have swilled almost the whole thing in a month. And of course that puts me in an awkward predicament: I don’t have enough homebrew to last until the next batch (an IPA which I’m going to try to make tomorrow with The Boy and my dad) is ready. Fortunately, the Beer Drawer is full. Whew — that was close!


Work has been good. I’ve been charging forward with implementing the MODx content management system in a few different contexts: some development work I’m doing for a designer friend, a couple sites I’ve designed and built on my own, and at the county.

Getting the CMS rolling has been cool. I’ve learned (so far) a little about how PHP and MySQL play with each other. The great thing about all this work lately, though, is that my css and xhtml chops have really gotten blasted into shape. So much so, in fact, that I’m working on a plan to open a small shop to do build sites that look great, work flawlessly, and have fab code. It’ll be a side thing because I can’t give up the great benefits that come with being a county employee, but hopefully, it’ll make the difference between qualifying for food stamps (which this branch of Clan Van Beest currently does) and being able to go to The Beach.

Well, The Wife and The Boyz just rolled in, so I’ll continue my update later. As you were.

Welcome, Elliot Dashiell!

DSCF3429Our second son, Elliot Dashiell, was born this morning at 05:28 after about 12 hours of labor. He weighs 7 lbs, 6 oz, and in 18.5 inches long. He’s also perfectly healthy and incredibly beautiful.

Meg labored through the night with the gentle support of Jan, one of the O.B. nurses at the local hospital. She had an entirely natural delivery after 26 minutes of pushing, and amazed all of us (the O.B. staff, our doctor, me) with how focused, collected, and strong she was. Damn, baby!

See more pics, including one The Boy shot, at our Flickr account.

I’ll shoot and post more tomorrow, when I’ve had more than four hours broken sleep in the last day-and-a-half.

Edit 01/22/08: Corrected Elliot’s birth-length to 18.5 inches. See what sleep deprivation will do to a guy?

On the cusp

We made it! The Wife is officially at 36 weeks in her pregnancy today, so that means:

  1. It’s all good from here
  2. No more restricted activity (hubba hubba, and what not)
  3. Our house is about to get a *whole lot* cleaner
  4. Our lives are about to get a whole lot busier

It also means The Boy will officially be a big brother, and able to teach things he knows, like his new (and only) knock-knock joke (the punch line is “WaZOOka!” and is hysterical if you’re three. It’s not bad if you’re thirty-somethin’, too.), and the best way to wheedle Dad out of “somes root beer, pleeeese!”

We’ll keep you posted, with words and images.

Counting Croup

We’re back from the hospital with The Boy. That’s a good thing. The Wife called me last night at about 18:30 while I was setting up a tape backup system for one of my outside-of-work clients. Said she was taking The Boy to the E.R. because he was having a hard time breathing.

Because I’m a brilliant conversationalist and extremly quick on the uptake, I said, “Really?”

She put The Boy on the phone. I don’t know if you’ve ever had your heart ripped out of your chest just by the sound of someone struggling to say “Hi Daddy,” but it was a new experience for me.

I raced home in the “Red Sporty Car” (The Boy’s designation, not mine), picked up The Wife and The Boy, then raced (a little more slowly; the roads were getting slick with a “wintery mix”) to the Accute Care Clinic at the hospital. At least, that’s where I think we raced. It’s a little hard to know for sure because they’ve recently remodeled the E.R. and everything kind of flows together. And, of course, we got there right when the docs were changing shifts, so we went from nice, polite, competent middle-aged doc to old, grumpy, curmudgeon doc. That was (as The Boy likes to say) “pretty sweet.”

The Boy got some steroids, some mist in an O2 mask, and some Tylenol to cut his fever. He got pictures of his chest and abdomen. After it’s highest point, his heart rate was 209 beats a minute, but that came down after a while. And then he started driving his car. And squirming like only a three-year-old can. When he started playing with the controls of the gurney and trying to get at the computer on the wall, we knew he was going to be fine.

The Boy still has a pretty good cough, and his breathing isn’t so whisper quiet, but he’s doing about 603% better today than he was last night.

Of course, now I’m home sick…