Thursday, April 28, 2011

New life

I am thrilled to announce that on Tuesday April 26th, my wife gave birth to a healthy son, Wolf (from the germanic Wolfhart) William Vanraes. Weighing in at 5lbs4, and 18.5 inches tall, he was born a little early, but is doing great now! Both baby and mother are recovering quickly.

This is also a perfect time to share some old wisdom regarding beer and babies. My great-grandmother (God rest her soul) was quite the example of strong womanhood. There are many tales of her facing the German commander of our hometown during WWII, or bands of armed 'resistance fighters' right after the war as they were going too far in exacting revenge, just a strong fearless woman. Those stories would make for a great post, if you'd be interested! She lived to turn 89, and I have a very vivid memory of her as always loving a Westmalle Dubbel, up to the end. Anyways, one of the things she is remembered as saying, was that every time my mother or one of her sisters was pregnant she would urge her granddaughters to regularly drink trappist beer. 'That will make the baby grow', she'd say. And as soon as baby was born, she'd urge the mothers to keep drinking good trappist beers. 'That is good for the milk!', she'd then explain. The pre-pre-natal pill of the day! Knowing that good beer is a source of proteins, potassium, and substances such as riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin B and others, our ancestors were not that stupid. Of course, all within reason, and without over-indulging. (So: DISCLAIMER: this post does not make any medical recommendations. - Why do I even have to disclaim my very own great-granny?) There are other medical reports that highlight the benefits of drinking beer that I cannot immediately find again to reference here, so I suppose that one can safely assume that my great-grandmother with her old school folk wisdom was on to something!



  1. Fran Gallic - Cheers! All natural trappist beer! What could possibly be wrong with that!

  2. Congrats Wim!

    And yes, any stories about facing down German commanders would definitely make a good post. You know, in two years, after Wolf lets you sleep again. :-)

    Best wishes.

  3. Agnes (the proud 'oma' of Wolf)Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:38:00 AM EDT

    Another thing she did: when i came with a newborn to visit her, she would allways want to hold the baby, so far nothing peculliar.
    BUT! Then she would take the pacifier and soak it in her beer, and than give it to the mothers-heart revolted!! My nurse-brains even harder!
    But, so she said, this is SO good for the intestinal flora, the babies would never have gut problems after that, (and they didn't i must admit!)

    I do not do this with my grandchildren....
    Should I start doing so, or do i wait untill they are a (little) older?

  4. The facts : when Maria Maes, the great-grandmother hold the baby that was crying, and when she offered the pacifier soaked in the beer, the baby ALWAYS stopped crying and got happy ... asking for more !