Hitting my website without using my domain

I just signed up with DreamHost and wanted to test everything out to make sure my sites are all operational before changing the DNS. My websites are on pernod. How do I access them without using my domains? I’ve tried several different things… even set up dreamhost.com subdomains to map to my web directories, but those are taking forever to activate. I’m really hoping (expecting, actually) there’s something simpler than that.

Also, along the same lines… is there a way to access my databases without using the domains?