Monday, January 31, 2011

My first Monday Minute

(There should be a cute little icon here that says Monday Minute with Cristy, but I don't know how to put that on my blog. I have the html coding, but I don't know where I insert it to make the icon show up. Everything I tried just showed the html coding.) 

Anyway, Monday Minute is something that's hosted at Is there a doctor in the house? and it's just a fun set of questions that you can answer and share with readers to answer too.

Questions

(1) What's your favorite time of day?
(2) Do you and your significant other send sexy texts?
(3) If you got your dream job anywhere in the US, where would you choose to move to?
(4) What are you wearing?
(5) If given a choice to skip work for a day, how would you spend the entire day?
 
1. I don't think I have a favorite time of day. I dislike right when I wake up, because I'm still sleepy and wanting to sleep more, but give it a few minutes and I'm good to go. I enjoy my mornings with Isabelle, my free times while she naps, afternoons with Kaylee, my evenings with my family, and later evening time with the hubs while little ones are sleeping. 

2. lol. We used to. Now it's more ... lovey texts than sexy texts. Perhaps we should bring sexy back :) 

3. Well, if I had a dream job, you know I'd be making good money, so as cost of living wouldn't be an issue. I'd definitely want somewhere warm and somewhere big city. Houston is definitely a top choice, where my best friend lives. But I'd definitely be okay with Orlando, San Diego, Phoenix, somewhere like that. (while I've got that dream job, I'd like ability to take frequent vacations too!) 
4. The same thing I wear almost everyday! A pair of black leggings, a nursing tank top, a KSU hoodie, and my slippers. (the slippers are exchanged for Uggs when I leave the house :) ) (and don't worry, I change leggings and hoodies on occasion!)

5. There is no skipping my work! Sure, I could say I'd have a day with NO housework, but honestly, that would just stress me out the next day, playing catch up for what I didn't do the day before. Boring reality aside, I'd like a day trip to Kansas City. Before baby came, we used to go about once a month for shopping, eating and fun family time :) 

If you'd like to participate in the questions, I encourage you to visit Cristy's blog (http://happilyalawmama.blogspot.com/) and play along!

Still here

It was a rather uneventful weekend, so I really have no excuse for not blogging, except for when the hubs and my older child are at home, I'm usually busy with them, and don't have the same "free" time I do when they're away at work and school.
Anyway, our weekend looked a little like this:

We had some Harry Potter Lego castle building. 


 She was far too busy building to look up and give me a smile.

Some sillyness involving some bunny ears.

You can tell I've made too many holiday cards for the last few holidays because as I went for my camera,
Kaylee suggested I use these pics to make an Easter card. lol!

A playdate with Kaylee and her BFF at The Alley, a place that has bowling, go karts and an arcade. (a ridiculously overprice place, I may add!) 
Waiting to ride the go karts :) 

Getting ready to go! 
(I couldn't get my own daughter to realize I was trying to take a picture. Silly girl!)



Some serious air hockey competition!

And all the while, my littlest one did this:

All in all, we had a good weekend. Kaylee is back to school, the hubs is back to work, and Isabelle is doing some more of that napping she's famous for. Perhaps I should get some cleaning done...

Friday, January 28, 2011

TGIF!

As a stay at home mom, my days are all pretty much the same. My work doesn't start and end in the typical 9-5, Monday-Friday job hours. Oh no, this momma's working 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year lol! (because at the very least, I'm making milk for my sweet little Isabelle)

The point is, Fridays usually aren't that exciting to me. You'll find me doing the same things on Saturdays and Sundays as I'd do on Mondays or Thursdays, so any day is about the same as any other.

Today, though, I was ready to welcome Friday with open arms :)

My week has been so busy. (And I'm starting to become more aware that when I feel too busy and overwhelmed, I'm not a nice person. Everything - especially the negative things - become much bigger than they really are and I become overwhelmed with annoyance. It's not a nice thing.)

As the second grade room mom at Kaylee's school, it was my job to plan, coordinate, and put on a luncheon for the 45 teachers and staff at her school this week. My week was filled with working within a tight budget, a combination of purchasing, ordering and making all the food, transporting said food to school, getting the lunch all set up....and all with a baby in tow, of course.
The good news is, the luncheon went well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Then today, Kaylee's class was having a Kansas day luncheon, and I volunteered to make chili for the second graders. After being in charge of an entire meal for 45 adults, making chili for 23 kids was a breeze!

As part of their Kansas day celebration, the kids got to wear jeans and a "western" shirt. (They usually wear uniforms.) This is about as western as we get in this house:
This is Kaylee's FAVORITE shirt, by the way. She has the exact same shirt in pink in purple, and those two are the only shirts (besides uniforms and PJs) I've seen her wear in the last few months. The girl has a drawer FULL of long sleeve shirts and a closet full of sweatshirts, hoodies, and jackets, but NOOOO. Only the plaid flannel shirt will do. So glad we bought all the others. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Isabelle made a big discovery today!
TOES!

And not only that, she can EAT them!

I know some babies may discover the joys of another set of attached play things (ie- toes) sooner than 5 months, but with Isabelle's big tummy in the way, her toes have mostly been out of her reach. 
It's really funny though, because for about 3 out of every 5 times she tries to pull her toes to her mouth, she's met with too much resistance (ie- that big tummy) and her hands wind up at her mouth empty handed. lol!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unqualified

I'm having a situation with my 7 year old, and I'll be honest. I feel unqualified to adequately handle it. Oh, sure, I can handle it, but I worry I'm not saying the right things or making the right impression or teaching the right lessons. Allow me to try to explain.

Cancel that explanation. I just started typing it all out and none of it was very clear and it was drawn out and long winded, so perhaps I can summarize my core concern. 

To a 7 year old, how can you instill a need to demonstrate kindness, even if a "friend" of hers isn't very kind? How can you suggest she "not be friends" with another child because that child is getting her into trouble (of the talking too much, not paying attention in class, excluding other children from being their friends kind of trouble)? How can you communicate qualities that aren't the making of a good friendship into words and ideas a 7 year old can grasp?

Because to her, the "friend" that's getting her into trouble is a friend. Someone who's company she (for whatever reason) enjoys. And this "friend" is damaging Kaylee's friendship with true friends because Kaylee is a bystander to the mean-ness and exclusion.
(at least, from what I've gathered, she's a bystander. I certainly hope she's not a participator.)

For the last few days, I've been "angry" at this so-called friend. Angry that this girl is a bad influence on my Kaylee, helping Kaylee get into trouble and damaging her friendship with other people.
Of course, I haven't shared this anger with Kaylee, but I have shared it with my husband.

Until today.
I was in Kaylee's classroom to chat with her teacher briefly, and I saw the "friend," which was exactly what I needed.

Because she's just a little girl too. Just like my Kaylee.
She's 8. And in my heart, I believe 8 year olds aren't mean. They aren't manipulative. (well, they are!, but not vindictively so). And maybe she doesn't know better, or wasn't taught better, or has her own issues she's working with.

So while I still don't like the influence, I do care for the girl.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Book Thief

Over the weekend I finished The Book Thief. (and yes, it's now Wednesday, and I'm only now getting to posting it. Sigh.)

This was my second attempt at this book. I'd heard from numerous people for a few years now that the book is fabulous. When I tried reading it a few years ago, I made it about 40ish pages in, and quit. It wasn't bad, but it definitely wasn't great.
This time, I forced myself to persevere. It's definitely an...odd story, especially in how it's written.
The setting is small town Germany, World War II, and all in all, it's depressing. In some ways, it leaves you feeling sympathetic for the Germans who weren't fanatical Nazis, but it's still depressing. A few tears were shed towards the end, and there wasn't a resolution to leave you feeling content. Just...empty.

Gee, I bet everyone wants to read this now, huh?

Cinnamon spiced nuts

Oh goodness. Everyone knows the allure of cinnamon spiced nuts. I know you've smelled them somewhere. At a fair, or the mall or at the Arena for shows. The aroma just sucks you in. And next thing you know, you have a teeny tiny bag of nuts for $5 or something outrageous.

No more, my friends, no more!

You CAN make them at home. And they'll be just as delicious as any you've bought before.

You'll need:
- 1 cup raw nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, whatever!)
- about half of a 1/4 cup of cinnamon (yes, that's an 1/8th, but I don't know anyone with an 1/8 measuring cup)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or a course sugar)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites,beaten until foamy

Set oven to 275 degrees.
Mix cinnamon, sugars and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.
Pour almonds into egg whites and stir. Cover the almonds in sugar mixture (by pouring sugar mixture over the almonds, or almonds into sugar mixture)
Spread out onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Productive...and not

For the most part, I've thought that this blog lowers my productivity. As in, instead of doing things that need done, I'm sitting and blogging. Not that my teeny little blog takes up all that much time, but as we all know, the minutes add up and next thing you know, you've spent an hour writing and reading and commenting and there's the laundry, still waiting to be washed.

However, I felt that today, my blog helped my productivity.
Yesterday, I shared my to-do list here , and said that I hoped to have gotten 10 of the items done and crossed off.
However, by the time I went to bed last night, not only had I added additional items to the list, I hadn't gotten 10 of them done.
While I love lists, I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I rarely feel this way about my lists, and couldn't figure out why I was feeling so annoyed about it all.

But the more I thought about it, I think that I was feeling stressed because I made a big public statement about getting 10 things done, and I didn't. It felt like a bigger "failure" than if I never mentioned it at all.

So, today I focused on getting things done (until I fell asleep with Isabelle this evening and slept for 3 hours) and am happy to say that I have 19 items checked and crossed off.

Yay me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mommy, I'm trying!!

(this is Megan, not doing any of the things listed on that long to-do list I showed you earlier. Oops.)

Isabelle was getting in some quality tummy time this afternoon, and then working hard at rolling over.

Hi, mommy! I'm just hanging out!

 Zoom, zoom! let's play airplane!

See how cute of an airplane I am?!
Wait, you rolled me over on my back. Good thing my neck is so flexible so I can still look at you. Heaven forbid I should exert the energy to roll over. 

 Well, okay, maybe I'll try rolling over. I'm reaching! maybe you can grab my hand and help pull me over!

 Nah, maybe I'll just roll myself back into a little ball. Who needs rolling over anyway?

 Oh, wait! The sheet is kind of loose here. Maybe I can grab on and pull myself over. I'm such a smart baby! 

 I'm still pulling, but I don't think I'm getting anywhere. This 17 lb tummy sure makes it hard to roll over.

Night, night, mommy. I worked hard today.

No lazy Monday here

Oh goodness. I think this is the earliest I've ever posted. I usually don't make time for it in the morning. Between trying to maximize my time laying in bed with Isabelle wishing it wasn't time to get up yet, and reminding Kaylee for the 58th time what she needs to be doing so we leave for school on time, there usually isn't a free moment.

It's always takes a bit of planning when you have several things to do and will be away from the house for awhile with a baby. Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Changes of clothes? Not yet check. Plan for feeding? Check. Etc etc etc...

Are you a list maker? I am, without a doubt the biggest list maker I know. I am always working off a list. To do list, shopping list, any list you could think of. If I don't write down everything I need to be working on or getting, things get forgotten. Plus I really like getting to cross things off my list when I'm done :)

Here's my list for today:
I think the pink paper makes the list a little bit friendlier :)

And yes, I draw boxes so I can X things out and draw a line through. OCD, much?!

I'm hoping to have crossed off 10 before the day is over....I'll update tonight!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thankful for {1}

I've decided that every Sunday, I'm going to do a post stating 5 things I've thankful for from the prior week. Little things, big things, whatever, just specifics from the last 7 days.

1. Martin Luther King, Jr. In all honesty, this is not something I'm "actively" thankful for, or something that's a very present thought in my day to day thoughts, but I am thankful that we don't live in a segregated society. It makes me sad to read books and accounts from those times, and while there's unfortunately still plenty of racism, I'm glad our current situation is better than the past.

2. My husband. On Friday, despite both of us not feeling well, he left work early to pick up Kaylee from school and then took her to a girl scout event so I could stay home. Lucky me :)

3. My brother. He came over for dinner on Wednesday, and even though the roads got icy while we were eating, he didn't rush off to get home. He still stayed and played super Mario on the Wii with Kaylee, which is her current favorite thing to do.

4. My Panera card. My reward today was a free Toffee nut cookie :)
5. My blender. Ever since I got it out to make smoothie's for Isabelle's handsome boyfriend, I've since made 3 smoothies for my Kaylee. It's gotten more fruit and milk in her diet than she would have had otherwise.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's not all fun and games

I'm sure everyone reading this is old enough to have a somewhat realistic view on having children, even if you haven't had any yet.
But just in case there's any doubt or confusion, allow me to share with you this very true statement. Having kids is not all fun and games. Take the last two days, for example. A little story in numbers, shall we?

5:40...the numbers I saw on the clock when Isabelle woke up Friday
10...the number of poopy diapers I've changed since 6am yesterday
2...the number of chest X-rays Isabelle had to have at the doctor
20...the number of minutes Isabelle cried during and after the X-rays
10...the number of minutes Isabelle spent having a breathing treatment
38...the number of minutes we had to wait for her first prescription to be filled
2...the number of times she vomited immediately after I gave her the medicine
7...the number of articles of clothing that got vomit covered
2...the number of baths she had to take yesterday to clean up from said vomit
2...the number of prescriptions we've now filled hoping to find a steroid that agrees with her
1...the number of times Isabelle has ever fallen asleep in her play mat, probably from pure exhaustion from all of the above
472...the number of hugs, kisses and cuddles I've given to Isabelle.

Because despite it all, I wouldn't give up being a mommy for anything!

There's a flavor for everyone!

Of Girl Scout cookies, that is!
And my sweet Kaylee would love to sell you some cookies!
 You just can't say no to that face!


The cookies are only $3.50 a box, which, yeah, is a bit more than Oreos, but way more delicious :) And for a great cause too!

If you'd like to order, feel free to contact me via this blog, facebook, email (meganshandy@yahoo.com), or phone (316-841-9187)

This year's flavors:
-Thanks-A-Lot: shortbread dipped in fudge
-Lemonades: shortbread with lemon icing
-Shortbread: buttery shortbread
-Thin Mints: chocolate wafers, chocolate coating, pure peppermint
-Peanut Butter Patties: vanilla cookies with peanut butter and chocolate coating
-Caramel deLites: vanilla cookies in caramel, with coconut and cocoa stripes (my personal favorite!)
-Peanut Butter Sandwich: peanut butte sandwiched between oatmeal cookies
and new!
-Shout Outs: a Belgian style caramelized cookie

For those of you that aren't too familiar with Girl Scouts, I'd like to share their promise and their law:

Girl scout promise:
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
Girl Scout law:
I will do my best to be
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
And to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout

Because of that, Girl Scouts is definitely an organization you should feel good about supporting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blender love

If you're anything like me, you probably own a blender. And can probably count on one hand the number of times you've gotten it out recently.

For some reason, in my mind, I think my blender is a huge pain to use. Having to get all the parts out of the cabinet. And dealing with the cleanup. In reality, it's not a big deal at all, so I don't know why I continue to think that way.

Today, my blender came out of hibernation. I'm embarrassed to say it's been hibernating for over a year. But I have a friend with a sick kiddo that wasn't wanting to eat or drink much, so I suggested a few smoothies and offered to make and bring them over.

I did, and once I got home, figured I should take advantage of some smoothie goodness too.

If, for some odd, crazy reason, you've never made smoothies, you totally should! It's so simple, and you can use any sort of flavors your little heart desires! There's no need for a recipe.

For example, for the kiddo, I made one with a handful of strawberries, half a banana and a 1/2 cup of milk. I made another with a whole banana, a big tbsp of peanut butter and a 1/2 cup of milk. So hopefully if he's interested in trying the smoothie, he'll be getting some fruit (vitamins!) some milk (calcium + protein) and peanut butter (protein +healthy fats).
For mine that you see above, I used strawberries, pineapple, mango, banana and some milk. I like my smoothies thick (think eat with a spoon, not drink) so I use frozen fruit and only blend til combined. (for a drink like consistency, use room temp or refrigerated fruit and blend a little longer.)
Usually I like to use yogurt in my smoothies, for thickness plus all the benefits of yogurt, but today I didn't have any.
You're welcome to sweeten your smoothies with sugar, honey, juice, etc, and that's delicious, but I was just going for some fruity goodness today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Uneventful

It's been a slow day today. I'm happy to say Isabelle and I went to the YMCA again today and walked around the track a bit.
I know walking is pretty mild, exercise-wise, but I figure the fact that I'm carrying my 17 lb chunk along in the Ergo at least ups the benefit a teeny bit. Like I said, I don't want to leave her in the nursery just yet, so we'll just keep up our walking until the weather gets decent enough here to be outside and then I'll give my jogging stroller a try. I know it's great cause I used it plenty with my first kiddo, but never for its intended purpose of jogging lol!

When we are home, Isabelle's favorite place to be is just laying around in my bed, so we spend a lot of time there.

She'll lay around and play with her blankees or little toys and I'll alternate talking to her and playing with her while reading on my kindle. For the first time in my life, I find myself wishing I had a king sized bed. Not for sleeping, but just to increase our play area square footage. It's fine when it's the two of us, but when Kaylee is home, she wants to get in on the playing and cuddling on the bed. It's kind of amazing the amount of time we spend in bed these days.

I'm still reading The Book Thief, and while it's okay, it hasn't sucked me in just yet. I keep waiting for it to happen though, cause I've heard from so many people how fantastic it is.

It's time to prep dinner. I'm making cornish game hens, cause I thought Kaylee might get a kick out of having her own little chicken for dinner.
Only problem is, for some reason, dealing with the whole chicken like that kinda grosses me out. I am a meat eater, for sure, and have cooked all kinds of meat, but having the whole body of the chicken....bleh.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Megan's making

I have a confession to make. Until last week, I had never made pot roast.
(and now here I am, making it again!)

I've always been so intimidated by choosing the meat, that even though the cooking seemed relatively simple, I never tried. I mean, have you seen all the cuts of meat there are to choose from?! Chuck arm roast, chuck shoulder roast, chuck eye roast, rib roast, rib eye roast, tenderloin, tri tip roast, bottom round roast, rump roast, brisket, round tip roast....the list goes on! (And no, I didn't just happen to be able to write all of those from memory. I just googled cuts of beef haha! But seriously, I've seen all those in the meat department at dillons!)

After consulting with several cookbooks, and a butcher or two, I've come to the informed decision that a chuck roast is best for making pot roast in a crock pot. (If you're going to be baking it in the oven, I think the same cut would work, but don't ask me! I'm back to feeling intimidated!)

Now that you've got your meat,
You need to decide on your vegetables.
I used
-5 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
-6 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
-3 parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces
-5 cloves of garlic, sliced into small pieces
Peel and cut veggies. Put into the bottom of your crockpot with a half cup of water. (yup, only a half!)

Place the meat on top. Season as desired. (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, etc etc)

Cook on low all day (8 hours) and enjoy! That's it!
I've never had parsnips before, so this'll be something new. I wish I had a sweet potato to have added, but alas, I did not.

Special delivery!

Well well well, look what the UPS lady brought me today...

Oh yeah, new running shoes!
They're New Balance 760s, which were recommended to me by a great friend who's recently become a great runner too!

But wait! Megan hasn't been running!

Guess that means it's time to get started!

I am happy to say that Isabelle and I did go to the YMCA today....for the first time in 2011.
I've definitely been slacking off on my "being active" resolution, so I decided today was the day to make that change. Not that any real "working out" occurred, because I choose not to leave Isabelle in the daycare/nursery, so her and I just walked the track for 40 minutes. I'm loving my new Ergo; we were both completely comfortable the entire time.
I think all the little old ladies who were also track walkers got a big kick out of her! Isabelle got smiled and cooed at several times. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

blah blah blah

I'm having a hard time writing today.
I wanted to sit down and write about my thoughts on being a stay at home mom, but I was trying to cover too many angles while hoping to keep my words from offending anyone.

I wanted to write about how I enjoy staying home, but that I don't judge you if you aren't.
I wanted to talk about why I thought staying home was a good choice for my family, but didn't want it to come across as what's right for me is right for everyone and if you're doing something different you're doing something wrong, because that's not how I see it.
I wanted to share that staying at home isn't always great fun and that sometimes you do miss working, but didn't want to appear dissatisfied with my life, because I'm not.
I wanted to write all those things and more, but found myself typing typing typing and then deleting deleting deleting. 
So instead of walking the fine line between sharing my thoughts and trying to keep from offending anyone, I'll just say how grateful I am to have a husband who allows me to stay home and supports that decision. Because if it wasn't for him, my day to day life would be vastly different from what it is today.

In other news, Kaylee introduced Isabelle to Aurora.

 And right after these pictures were taken, Kaylee pushed Isabelle's hands away and said "Isabelle, she's real! Be careful!" :)

Kaylee asked for some Sprite. This is her "please face."

Any time I take a picture of Kaylee, she asks to see it on the camera display screen. When I showed it to her, she said it looked like she needed to pee. lol!

Kaylee and Isabelle spent some time reading. Sweet sister time.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pillsbury fail!

Dear Mr Pillsbury dough boy,
Unbeknownst to you, we've been friends since I was just a wee little girl. I've always loved the flaky deliciousness of your crescent rolls and the doughy blanket you provided for my hot dogs a la pigs in a blanket.
But alas, you have begun to let me down with the poor performance of your cardboard canisters.
When I purchase your seamless dough sheets,
I expect a smooth, continuous piece of dough.
Unfortunately, when opening the cardboard tube via the seam you provide, I find my dough comes out ruthlessly torn and ripped in several places.
 This simply will not do. My poor little hot dogs, who have been eagerly awaiting their chance to cozy up inside the dough are now covered in a tattered dough blanket.
(not to mention my OCD's reaction to the imperfectly wrapped hot dogs.)
So, my cute, pudgy, dough boy friend, if you could please work on a better packaging tube or a stronger, tear-resistant dough, my hot dogs would surely appreciate it.
Yours truly,
Megan

I've created a monster...

...A little monster that wants a cutely plated lunch every time.
When I asked Kaylee what she'd like for lunch today, she said she wanted "The big plate...with the different foods." Gone are the days of throwing a sandwich on the plate and calling it lunch. Maybe cutting it into triangles if I'm feeling spunky. So her lunch today looked like this:
A well-balanced meal of mozzarella sticks, apple slices, carrot sticks and pretzels. (Don't judge! The apples and carrots make up for the deep fried cheesyness.)
And besides, Kaylee has no use for the deep fried part. She only wants the cheesyness...
Take a look at what's left of the mozzarella sticks. All the breading, no cheese. Weird kid.

Reading list

I think it'll be fun at the end of the year to know exactly how many books I've read, so I'm going to keep a list that I'll update often. (well, hopefully it'll be often, because that will indicate I've been reading lots, which is my plan )
(oh, and if some of the titles seem kind of obscure, it's because amazon offers an ever-changing list of free books for the kindle.... and there's a possibility I'm a sucker for free things, mmkay?)

1. Millis's Fling - a light little British chick-lit romance novel. (think Bridget Jones' Diary, not trashy harlequin crap). Nothing great, but interesting enough that I kept reading it.









2. Fireflies in December - set during segregation times and told from a young girl's point of view. Not terribly moving, but a good story.









3. The Hunger Games - really interesting. No short way to sum it up. Check amazon and consider it recommended :)
4. Catching Fire - sequel to The Hunger Games
5. Mockingjay - the last of The Hunger Games trilogy. I enjoyed all of them.

6. Sarah's Key - duel story lines in one book. Part current time, part WWII Nazi-Jew fiction. I love (in whatever way you can "love" something so terrible) WWII fiction; this was ok, I've read better. While not as gruesome as some WWII novels, it was still depressing.

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