Welcome! Come on in! Make yourself at home and stay awhile. But beware of the odd flying toy, fighting child, dirty sock, or even a mad Mama. If you are looking to read about about a perfect family, this is NOT it. But if you want a real snapshot of day to day life in the deRegt household, you might just find that here. My desire through this blog is to keep in "real" touch with family and friends, beyond the picture-perfect Christmas form letter (hey, what can I say? I believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve). We consider ourselves blessed that there are so many wonderful people in our lives that we can't even keep in touch with everyone. Please leave a comment now and then, we'd love to hear from you, too. Except if you are perfect, then we want you to go away!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

"Mom, what does SEXY mean?"

I hear him through the bathroom door. First, he asked his Dad. "What is sexy, Dad?"

Dad, ever clever, responded quickly:"Your Mom is, of course!"

"No, really, Dad, what does it mean?" Well, um...well. After some awkward humming and hawing and I-dont-want-to-go-there-yet-with-you and maybe-you-should-ask-your-mother, the son opens the unlocked bathroom door and walks right in, oblivious to me in all my glory, and poses the same question. (Dad on the other side of the door still thinks he's being funny when he calls out "you're looking at it, son!") Nice. Aren't I blessed?

Pause that story right there and fast-forward to later in the week when I am standing patiently in line to pay for my overflowing grocery cart. As usual I look longingly at the magazines, wondering which food we could forsake this week so that one of these delightful publications can fit into the grocery budget.

And there's this headline: "SEXIEST pumpkin pie ever!"

Really? I mean, really? Isn't pumpkin pie exactly what causes us all to NOT look like the models on the front of these magazines, prompting us to feel downright un-sexy??

But there it was--sexy pumpkin pie. The sexiest ever. So I guess there are somewhat sexy pies and then there are really sexy pies. I guess this one takes the sexy-pie cake, pardon the pun.

Back to my son in the bathroom and me hastily wrapping a towel around myself.

"Well," I say, stalling, "why do you want to know?" Eyes narrowing. "Where did you hear that word, anyways?"

"So-and-so at school uses it all the time." Ahhh, ok. "And I read it." Yup, welcome to the scary world of reading.

I debated how to answer it, and finally said it was just kind of an adult word for saying something looks really good, and that he should probably not say it too often.

The official definition is: arousing or intending to arouse sexual desire. So, in that light, I'd say he definitely shouldn't be using it to often!! But a third, new definition is: appealing because of being new, interesting, or trendy.

We took our kids to the fair this summer and a man walking in front of us had in large letters on his shirt "I want your sexy mama". Thank goodness the kids didn't get a read of that one. I wonder what his own toddler (he had two in tow) will think when he learns to read.

At the risk of sounding like an old-fashioned prude, I have to ask "What is our world coming to?" Why does everything have to be about either a) sexual desire or b) death (skulls and skeletons everywhere, need I say more?).

When I saw that magazine about the pumpkin pie, I was disheartened. How do we equip our kids in this generation to make wise choices when even pumpkin pie has expectations on it to be sexy? Everything around us seems to scream "focus on your own pleasure!!"

But God says "take heart, I have overcome the world" and "delight yourself in the Lord, and he will satisfy the desires of your heart," and I know that, but do I live that? Do I model that?

In a world of magazine covers and billboards and tv commercials that shout, yes shout, not just suggest, wrong messages, I am convinced once again that my role as the mother, the homemaker, the "primary influencer" is so crucial. It starts here. With me. Immersed in Truth.

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praises her...Charm is deceptive and beauty if fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:27-30.

A tall order. Yet, curiously, not as daunting as creating the sexiest pumpkin pie ever while still fitting into the sexiest skinny jeans ever...Truth.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

My Successful Wheat-Free Week

Ok, so Week 1 is done. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I know I've said it before, but I am really surprised that I was able to do it without caving. Although I'm not doing this for the same reasons I've done other diets in the past, I am so amazed that for the first time in my life (as long as I can remember), I am not craving food continuously. Even though I've cut out a significant part of my regular diet, I don't feel deprived. This is very uncharacteristic of me. And it gives me hope--maybe I can keep this up!!

Some good discoveries/ideas/recipes that have helped me navigate this new world:
-Babybel cheeses--these are great! And I totally don't miss the cracker I used to eat them on. They are portable and very satisfying!
-Greek Yogurt--oh so creamy and delicious. One morning I added a little too much flax and it tasted like I imagine horse feed would. Other than that, I've been loving it. It's so high in protein and low in fat.
-Stuffed Peppers--I made these for dinner one night. I scramble-fried lean ground beef, added onions, carrots, zucchini, peppers, celery, spinach, some bouillon, spices, and about 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes. Then I packed them into some small orange and yellow bell peppers that I had cut the tops off of and boiled for a few minutes. I mixed some leftover crushed tomatoes with water poured it over top and around the peppers, sprinked some cheddar and parmesan over top and then baked them for 30 minutes. Two of them for dinner was very filling and delicious! Leftovers made great lunch. I made too much filling for the number of peppers I had, so I added extra broth and some italian seasoning to it in the pan, boiled and simmered it and it became a tasty soup!
-I know you won't believe me, but I'll share it anyways--burgers taste awesome on a lettuce leaf without the bun!! Truly. Even as I was preparing it I was starting to grumble about how it wouldn't be the same, and it wasn't fair (poor me). But one bite into it and I realized that the bun is really just tasteless filler. A "holder" really. All the same juicy flavours and textures of a great burger can be experienced without it.
-Other good meals have been: Butter Chicken (chicken, spices, onions, crushed tomatoes, and cream). I just chose to have a much smaller service of rice than usual to cut down on my grains, and I didn't notice it; Chicken and Vegetable Satay Kabobs--the marinade I use for this has peanut butter in it and has always been my favourite (i'll try to post it here). With a salad and a few roasted potatoes it was a hit.
-Chicken Salad (chicken, mayo, green onion, celery, salt & pepper). I kind of felt like a kid in a candy store because normally when I make this salad, I would "sneak" spoonfuls of it right from the mixing bowl before putting it in wraps or on a bun. I thoroughly enjoyed taking 1/2 cup of it for lunch with some cucumber slices and almonds.
-And for a sweet treat--Peanut Butter Cookies (peanut butter, egg, sugar). Even wheat-free, I was the world's best mom to my kids when they came home and smelled fresh cookies. So easy. And again, no hording desire to eat 5 of them. I had one, it was nice. I stopped. Who am I??

Some lows:
-The rash is still quite bad on my hand. I thought it went away a bit, but it's not noticeably different.
-Realizing that every single breakfast cereal has wheat in it--even the "healthy" ones!!
-Too much flax is a bad thing (see above note). Especially in oatmeal. Especially after it's congealed in the bowl for 1/2 hour while the children dilly dally getting ready in the morning.
-protein foods are a lot more expensive than carb foods. Thankfully veggies are cheap!

Some highs:
-Everyone's encouraging comments and shared recipes/websites--I look forward to trying some of them this week. I bought the expensive ingredients to do so today (see above point!)
-Feeling more energetic
-Seeing my children choose less carb choices and even enjoy some of the non-carb foods/meals.
-Thankfully appreciating the fact, every morning, that coffee does not contain wheat!!
-Seeing the scale go down even though I'm not counting calories or points, I'm not feeling hungry or deprived. And I'm not exercising. Yay!

Here's to Week 2!!
Allrecipes.com Chicken Satay recipe.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Day 4 of the Wheat-Free life!

Well, I've made it four days. For me, this is an accomplishment. Usually by Day 2 of any diet I am cheating. But then again, this is only the second time in my life I've done a diet for health reasons instead of weight reasons. (Really, they are the same thing, I know, but it's a different mindset.)

I didn't think I was going through withdrawal because I wasn't craving breads, but then I read the section in the book that said symptoms may include drowsiness and fatigue, and a reduced ability to do normal exercise, blurry thought patterns. Bingo!! (Ok, that described me pretty accurately prior to the WF diet as well, but hey...it explained the naps two days in a row! And the fact that I felt like I was walking around in a fog all weekend.)

Seriously, I am surprised at how I am feeling now that the fog is clearing. It's not as drastic as I had hoped, but I am feeling better. I got a little hungry at lunch time today and just had some cheese and almonds. That's all I needed and didn't feel hungry again until supper, nor did I think about eating. It's a weird thing to describe, but I don't feel as "controlled" by food anymore. And my hand rash is slowly clearing up. I'll admit, I honestly expected to see it disappear in 24 hours time, but alas, it hasn't.

The hardest part for me is trying to come up with variety. This is such a different way of cooking than I'm used to. If it were just a matter of replacing the wheat with another grain, that'd be easier. But I'm trying to cut out all grains. Breakfasts are the toughest, as I don't like eggs unless they are on toast (it's a texture thing). But I discovered Greek 0% yogurt with frozen blueberries and flax is a great way to start my morning. I have also had oatmeal, as I'm giving myself some grace with the "other" grains.

Curiously, I am sad about the two big bags of flour that are in my pantry (is it the Dutch in me?!?). And the fact that I have to let go of the pride I felt at baking my own bread for my family on a daily basis. Today I did make a loaf and some buns (the kids are not going cold turkey like we did). The more I learn about wheat (in it's modern form), I view bread as almost poisonous and that I really shouldn't feed it to my kids. Yet I still am. And I'm not throwing out that flour...yet. Can we hear the undertones of an addict here?

I'm thankful and delighted to discover I am really not alone. There is a whole world of wheat-free and gluten-free and grain-free people out there. Not to mention a lot of great recipes. I am still not sure this is a totally do-able thing for me permanently, but so far, so good. Now pass the hemp hearts...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Wheat: my newest enemy?

I'd like to think of myself as someone who gets along with most people. In fact, even the people who drive me nuts are usually not aware of it (no, it's not you!). Enemies have been few and far between in my life.

However, I've just been learning a lot about the most common food in my diet--wheat. And it's scary. Did you know that wheat can raise blood sugar more quickly than most other foods, including sugar? And did you know that our modern-day version of wheat has been so genetically modified that it's not even the same food anymore? In the last 50 years or so, wheat has been significantly changed to produce a higher yield crop, with absolutely no studies on the effects of those changes on humans.

Have you ever wondered, like I have, why on earth so many people now suffer from all kinds of conditions and illnesses that just didn't seem as prevalent in our parents' childhoods? I'm thinking Autism, ADHD, eczema, allergies, fatigue, obesity...cancer.

This book I'm reading, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, suggests the connection is the modified wheat we consume in excessive quantities. It entered our diets around the same time all these diseases started increasing in numbers. And he uses extremely scientific (read: complicated and over my head) data to back up this claim. From what I can understand from my scientifically-challenged viewpoint (I failed Chemistry in Gr. 12, ok?), IT MAKES SENSE!!

I won't try to tell you what he all says, but I will tell you that I'm convinced. In the last 6 months, I have been diagnosed with 2 separate medical conditions (both autoimmune related), and just recently have been developing an incredibly itchy and annoying rash on my hands (another telltale symptom). For a year now I've been dealing with severe headaches, fatigue, and low iron. Not to mention an embarrassing version of the lovely title-feature of Dr. Davis' book. If wheat is truly causing all of this, as he claims in his book, then I think it's time for me to kick the habit and see if he's right.

Starting today, I'm attempting to eliminate all forms of wheat from my diet, and hopefully from the kids' diets too, but that will have to be a much more gradual process. Somehow every single meal in this family has come to not just include wheat, but be dominated by it. Pancakes, waffles, cereal, toast, bagels, sandwiches, pasta, buns, breadsticks.....pizza. (Oh, dear, sweet, precious, pizza. Not you, too....) It seems daunting to me, I can't imagine my kids' reactions. Marcel, on the other hand, thinks this could be quite easy as he is a "meat potatoes vegetables" kind of man. We shall see....

So far, Day 1 has been more bearable than the experiment I did earlier this week. They say the results are noticeable right away. I've always known that I feel bloated and fat after a high-carb meal, and I have to say, I'm not feeling that today. The withdrawal symptoms are apparently quite brutal for some people, as the wheat effect on the brain involves the same receptors that heroin does. So this will be interesting.

I'm looking for meal ideas, recipes, etc. The idea is not to replace the wheat with other forms of high carbohydrates though, so good vegetable and other grain-free ideas would be more than welcome! Eggs for breakfast is going to get boring reallllly quickly. I need to keep this interesting. I need to be motivated. I plan on keeping this blog updated with my progress, so if any of you want to follow my progress or even join me in my journey, please let me know!

Ok, wheat, I'm building my team....and I'm about to conquer pizza/movie night with chicken breast "wings", veggie sticks, and sweet potato fries...mmm.

Friday, 30 December 2011

2011's Best Parenting Idea Ever

Tonight, as I was getting ready for bed, my heart skipped a beat to see that not just one of my kids, but BOTH of my older children had placed their Mommy & Me journals on my pillow. This means they have written an entry and now it's my turn. Honestly, it's almost more exciting than the little love letters and cards that I used to get so giddy about pre-marriage (and yes, I got them. Don't hate me!).

For Christmas this year, I ordered these special, customized, beautiful, journals from a cool little site called Paper Coterie. My friend Kristie tipped me off 3 hours before the deadline that if I signed up to a different blog, I could get $30 of free credit with this site, and that was enough to order 2 journals. A few clicks later, and they were personalized with a picture of me and each child, and the custom text read "Aiden's Mommy & Me Journal" (and "Janae's..." you get the picture...).

Well, who could've known that these last-minute, afterthought, FREE gifts they received this year would turn into some of the most special and fun times we've had all year. We've been writing back and forth for almost a month now, and I cannot get over what a blessing it has been to our relationship.

Without divulging too much of their inmost thoughts, I just have to share some comments:

From Aiden:
-"I love yous kisis" (I love your kisses)

-"Thank you fru coming on a bate wif mee" (a date with me--we went on a date together this week)

-He also drew a picture of a dog he wants to get, complete with a tail and a fart (labelled "frt") and a little boy laughing at the fart.

From Janae:
-Ever the detail-queen, her journal comes with notes taped onto it saying "the pen is in the box, please give it back" and then the next time "repeet this note pleese". Tonight there was a new note saying "be careful when you open it" because she squished into the journal part of a leftover chocolate bar that she has been saving for a month. "A treat for you. I hope you enjoy it."

-"I did fantastick at the piano recital because you helped me! (so thank you) Will you rub my back tomorrow night?"

"Is it fun and hard to be a mommy, mommy?"

"Did you always want three kids, mommy, or did you want more (I bet you wanted a hundred thousand girls, and not too many boys!!)"

"I love you to the moon and back and around the world too!"

Every time I open one of the journals to read what they have written, I end up laughing and welling up with tears and feeling like my heart is overflowing with love. It is such a beautiful way to end the day, especially some days that were far from beautiful to begin with. It's a fun way to communicate with the kids about things that might not normally get communicated, it is an easy way to make them each feel very special, and some day it will be the most amazing keepsake!

Not to re-iterate, but I would highly recommend this!!

 And now I need suggestions for how to respond to the picture of the farting dog...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Confessions of a Sugar Mama

I have a confession to make. My kids sometimes eat white sugar on butter on white toast. Before you die of diabetic shock, let me tell you more. I can't remember the last time Reuben ate an actual vegetable. If he will eat half a container of yogurt (sweetened of course) and a Bear Paw cookie, I consider that a healthy lunch and might even give myself a pat on the back. I send juice boxes to school in my kids' lunches, not water in re-usable containers. Aiden has a gumball machine...in his room. Shall I go on?

Before you send me hate mail or even worse, lecture mail, or even worse--lecture Facebook posts, let me assure you, I KNOW!! I have read all the nutrition books, I had gestational diabetes with two of pregnancies and have been thoroughly educated on the subject, I can list the Top 10 healthy, immune-boosting, fat-busting, age-fighting, disease-suppressing superfoods out there. I can create a healthy meal plan to rival that of the granoliest of granola people. It's not for lack of knowledge, or lack of belief.

I'm not here to explain it (heck, if I could psychoanalyze myself to the point of understanding this, we wouldn't be in this blog together right now, would we?). But in the realization that the quantities of sugar consumed by our family might just be worth buying shares in sugarcane, I am considering a new year's resolution....can we really give up all (most) sugar for a month? Could you?

Before I beat myself up too badly about our habits, I feel the need to share some of the neat little tricks I've been learning and doing to "healthify" our eating. It was shortly after we had my daughter's friend over for dinner and she looked at the white minute rice on the table and said "what's that?" that I realized maybe we need to catch up to this healthy bandwagon and jump on.

So, after many failed attempts, I have learned what works and what doesn't. One of Reuben's first words was "disgussing", learned from his dear siblings who would expressively and unreservedly tell me what they think of my new approach to cooking.

What works vs. what doesn't (in my family):

1. Basmati Rice (still better for you than long grain white or Minute brand) vs. Brown Rice (a.k.a.,cardboard shavings)

2. Smoothies!! At least three mornings a week I make smoothies with Greek 0% yogurt, frozen fruit, flax, and spinach. As long as there are blueberries in the mix, they can't see the green fleks. YAY!! This works so much better than putting fat-free yogurt in front of them, topped with whole blueberries.

3. Flax. A super food. I put it in everything because it's so easy to do that! I grind it in my coffee grinder, and put it in smoothies (see point 2), cookies, oatmeal, granola, hamburgers, soup, bread and pizza dough. It adds fiber and protein. I've even begun to wonder if one can consume too much flax? Much better alternative to trying to make the kids eat bran flakes.

3. Breadmaker!! This has been a fabulous investment. Not only are we eating way yummier bread that costs less than storebought, we can also be sure there are no preservatives in it, AND I can sneak flax and hemp into it. And, little do they know I am slowly replacing the white flour with whole wheat flour and unbleached flour. Again, this is more successful than buying "bread with nuts in it" that my family spits out.

4. Pasta sauces. This is something I've been doing for years--finely diced veggies of all sorts thrown into the pot to blend into the tomatoey red oblivion. Zucchini, peppers, grated carrots, celery, spinach, etc, etc. What I've just recently learned is that I can do this for white sauces too!! Last time we had chicken fettucine alfredo, I cooked half a head of cauliflower until it was mush. Then I mushed it some more in my Magic Bullet, stirred it into the noodles with the alfredo sauce and voila! More veggies!! And again, more successful than the stir fry that congealed on their plates.

5. Beans, beans, beans. Good for the heart. Tacos? Nachos? Quesadillas? Burritos? Anything Mexican-ish that requires fried ground beef gets a healthy dose of smashed beans mixed into it. The kids think it's just extra saucy. This goes over much better than serving them, say, just beans. My mother used to try that. It still turns my stomach.

6. Whole grain noodles. Lately I've noticed the grocery stores are offering the healthy noodles at the same price as the white ones. Marcel says it has something to do with abolishing racism. I am just happy that I don't have to choose between healthy and affordable in at least one food category! And it is more welcomed than the zucchini noodles I attempted to serve last summer and the spaghetti squash that got laughed at.

7. The after school snack has had a makeover. I have chased away visions of the good mother taking freshly baked cookies out of the oven as her children arrive home from school. Air popped popcorn is a great one, apple slices with melted peanut butter to dip them in, fruit skewers with yogurt dip, cheese and crackers...yes, yes, yes. No to the carrot sticks and red pepper slices.

8. Sneaking veggies into baking. Ok, so aside from point 7, I do still bake for my family, believing it makes me a good mother. But I've been trying to make things that have a healthy component--carrot muffins, zucchini bread, banana bread, pumpkin muffins, blueberry bran muffins. These are great school snacks instead of the sugarized granola bars that used to (ok they still do sometimes) get thrown in there! They didn't like the cranberry health cookies I made.

9. More activity, less couch! Our family gift this year, which we opened on Dec. 5 to celebrate Sinterklaas, was a Kinect video game system. It doesn't use controllers. Your body is the controller. So as we are river rafting, playing beach volleyball, raquetball and many other things, I am feeling less and less guilty about the "screen time". This has completely replaced our tv time. So while my kids' are still tuned in to a screen, they are also raising their heart rate and sweating. And so am I. Because, honestly, it's such a rush to kick Marcel's butt at boxing. KO!! And this is so much more fun than dragging them outside for a walk in the rain.

10. And lastly, I just ordered a brand new product from Epicure that is coming out January 2012, called the Chipster. I attended a demo and it's the most amazing little thing. You take a potato, peel on, use the slicer tool thingy to slice it into very thin slices. Place them on this silicone tray thingy. Put the tray in the microwave for 4 minutes. Out comes perfectly crispy potato chips. Season with a little Herbed Garlic sea salt and hello! Move over, Lays! No oil, no additives. Nothing but pure potato. This will now be replacing our potato chip addiction!

Looking forward to starting January 3rd with our kick-the-sugar month. I'll blog about it if I don't pass out from hypoglycemia!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

Ok, ok, I know I haven't written for a while now. I've gone through a phase of feeling like my life is really not that exciting to write about. Or, alternatively, my thoughts are sometimes a little too wild to put out there for the whole world to see!

Either way, we now have a half-decorated Christmas Tree in our living room and I must blog about it.

You see, it's the second year in a row we have screeched into Home Depot with crying kids right before closing time, in the rain, to get one. While I am muttering pathetic criticisms at each and every family member about the trees they want to pick and Marcel is pointing out that my hands are firmly ensconced in my pockets, I am struck by how utterly and completely OPPOSITE this picture is of what was in my mind last week as I envisioned our family's outing to get our tree.

Did I plan for us to go to an idyllic Christmas Tree farm? YES! Did I have visions of us merrily tromping into the woods to pick the perfect tree? YES! Did I picture Marcel-the-lumberjack with his axe and saw cheerily conquering the pine-scented beast? YES!! I even, admittedly, heard the Christmas carols that should've been playing on the radio and expected my children's exuberant faces to be smiling cherubic-ly while we drank apple cider afterwards. The ride home was to be full of anticipation of hanging the treasured ornaments on the tree while I whipped up some shortbread cookies.

Seriously!?!? You might be asking. YES!! Two years in a row? YES! What did I get instead?

First of all, it rained and poured. And we left later than planned. The check-engine light on the van made hubby nervous to drive to a Christmas Tree farm so far out, so we didn't bother looking up directions to the farm, planning to go to Canadian Tire instead. When said light miraculously disappears, we decide to just wing it and find said farm. Drive, drive, drive. Children get hungry. No farms in sight. It's too dark to keep looking, so we head back. Tears and anger start brewing in the back seat. Mom starts yelling from the front seat (yes, that's me!): SUCK IT UP! Yup, not my best parenting moment. We see Home Depot, the lights are still on...and in we go.

At home, one son stomps on the lights as we try to find the not broken ones. The other son screams at son one for doing this. Daughter decides to take the nicely untangled beads that Dad spent 45 minutes detangling and wrap them around her arm where they promptly get tangled again. Boys decide to play tag and roll into the base of the tree. Girl cries because we don't let her decorate the couch with the Christmas bows. Do I need to go on? All the while the cats circle the tree precariously. I'm fully prepared to wake up tonight to the sound of it crashing to the ground.

So if this is reality, why do I expect the unattainable? I like to think of myself as a little smarter than that. Yet, here we are in year two with the same miserable experience. Somewhere along the way I have been duped into believing those warm fuzzy moments can happen. And I am willing to drag my family through hell or high water to find those warm fuzzies.

Is it worth it? We did manage to put the Young Handel's Messiah in the laptop for some background music (some child broke our iPod docking station recently). I made tacos for supper which prompted Aiden to spontaneously thank God that I finally made tacos which are his favorite. Reuben kept saying "lookit Mommy!" "come see Mommy!" and when he pointed and said "beeeyoootiful!" I couldn't help but agree. Janae ignored the wind and the rain (and her mother's advice and example) and climbed up on the van roof to help Daddy tie the tree down, after dragging it out of the Home Depot warehouse with him. And all that after shedding some pretty dramatic tears about it not being a Christmas Tree farm. Resilience? Determination? I found it inspiring.

One of the reasons I had such unrealistic expectations is because we did have a few Christmases that actually worked out exactly how I wanted them to, a few years ago when we stumbled upon a quaint Christmas Tree farm in Chilliwack that did actually serve hot apple cider in a pinesy smelling room that you could retreat to after cutting your own tree down in the softly falling snow. But those moments weren't planned. And we can't recreate them. Sometimes, in a family, it's the unplanned moments that end up being the warmest, fuzziest, and most memorable. And even in the craziest of times, I wouldn't trade my warm fuzzy family for any perfect one, any day!