Holding Down the Fort

Once upon a time, there was an iconoclastic parenting site on the web called Babble.com. My dad, who was in a habit of sending articles to people he cared about, sent me a piece from the New York Times about it. I was intrigued, and beginning to take writing seriously, so I contacted them. They paid me for a couple of essays about my experience as a mother caring for three kids while their dad was deployed in Iraq. The first one was about being on The Home Front, and the second was about Ian's Return to the Home Front. When Ian was deployed the second time Babble hired me on as a featured blogger. It was a great way to share what life for a military family was like with other families who really didn't know. My blog was titled Holding Down the Fort.

I wrote posts for that blog for almost three years, then Disney bought the site and let nearly everyone go. Thankfully before I left (and before Babble was shut down completely) I managed to copy and paste nearly all of my old work over here. Which is good, because I think that blog contained some of my best writing. Not to mention a whole record of my family's history that I would have been sad to lose. 

I don't update as often to my Quiet Corner as I did to my Babble blog, but I'm happy to still be blogging. I find it a medium both powerful and personal. Thanks for following me here.

Back when Babble was still searchable, I put together this list of links to some of my more popular posts by category. None of these links work now, and someday I'll take the time to revise or remove them. But in the meantime you can still search them here on this blog if you are interested.


The Letter
Major Stay-At-Home Dad
Countdowns Are Nervewracking
Do Children Understand Goodbye?
Goodbye Round Two
Cleaning Up
Garden Fairies and Other Magical Beings
Fear At Fort Hood
What the Army Thinks Is Helpful
Care Package Pitfalls
Safe and Strong
If it Looks Like Failure and it Quacks Like Failure...
Party Is Such Sweet Sorrow
When Valentine's Day Sneaks Up On You
The Right Kind of Help to Military Families
Kindness Counts
The Deployment Part of the Parenting Puzzle
Looking Back on Yesterday
Breathing Room
Daddy Sounds
Goodbyes Hurt More Than a Fat Lip
A Memorial Day Note
The Home Stretch
One Month
Dear Ian,
Who Needs Words?
Major Guest Blogger
A Veteran's Day Note
Extra Thankful
I'm Saying Two-Thousand-Eleven
Feast or Famine
Survival Mode Deja Vu


Taking Sides
The Other Work/Life Balance
It Gets Easier
Positively Frustrating
Living In The Squirrel Cage
The Little Things
Things That Are Easier With Two Adults in the House
Rain Rain Rain and Basement Cards
Accommodation Vs Overindulgence
Random parenting things that may or may not have helped
Beyond the Baby Steps
Pain Is Not a Competition
The Full Orchestra
Tough Enough
Three Divided By One-On-One
Small Breakthroughs
Taking The Love Away
Just When You Think You Know Your Kids...
What Do Your Kids Eat?
A Really Good Father
Anything You Want
The Really Hard Talk
It's Not the Crime, It's the Coverup
Friendship Angles
Naming the Spiders
Well Rounded Education
A Birthday Off to a Good Start

My Kids:

Introductions: Quinn
Meet Mona
Girl Aden
The Cute Face
RIP to a Potter
School of One
The Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares
Birthday Season
Counterbalance and Birthday Fun
My Quotable Kids
A Kangaroo's Tale
Things in Things
I've Been Dumped for Someone Younger! 
Home of the Sensitive
Mona the Inappropriate
Days With My Little Guy
All in a Row
Aden the Cook
School School School
The Short, Dramatic Tale of Mona's Paper Chameleon
The Tooth Fairy May Have to Just Move In
Birthday Season in Full Swing
Let Them Eat One Last Cake
Aden's Homework
A Code Red World
A Steal At Only $1.02
Multi-Cultural Fair
Welcome Rejection
Two Down, One to Go, Then We Get a Tree
Double Digits
The Ultimate Game


Happy Birthday to a Great-Grandma
Which Family Is Mine?
Happy Halloweeniversary!
Traditions and Ruts
All Kinds of Hectic
When Four Feels Like A Small Number
So Many Roads
Lucky 13
Goodbye Gram
Eulogy for Grandma
Spite and Malice
Memorials Are For the Living
Quiet Joy
Don't Suffer Before You Have To
Home Sweet Hugs
Long Distance Snuggles
The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything
How Do You Hold Onto Something You Cannot Touch?
Bikes, Elvis, and a Whole Lot of Flags
We Are History
Fresh Starts, New Worries
Next Time A Party


Kids and Music Lessons: Free Advice!
What's A Mandola?
My Job
Everybody Sing
Life In A Case
History in Your Hands
Not Just a Gig
Report from String Camp
Things That Are Better in the Dark
'Tis the Season
Where You Sit
ABC's of Violin Making 
You Never Know

Crafty Things:

Costume Time
The Big Clock Project
The Small Light Project
Costume Progress
Pumpkin Fun
A Dragon, A Blue Jay, and A Dog Named Spot
Mommy's Sweatshop
Flat Ellora
How Have You Lived Without Crayon Pockets?
Books In Production
Perler Bead Love
A Ton of Projects and Three Blind Mice
Rock On, Lobster
Eating Our Words at Book Club
The Costume Machine Gets in Gear
Mona's Creations
Want To See the Crocodile?
And Finally, the Porcupine
Home Depot Fun
Prepping the Dragons
Dragon Day
Bad Eggs


Rethinking Pink (the Misogynist Within)
When Friendship Isn't Friendly
Gender Expectations
The Personal Touch, or Just Touched?

My Parents:

No One Ever Expects a Trip to the Hospital
My Mom Is Awesome
While It Still Exists, Let Me Tell You About the Gallery
Being a Daughter, Missing My Kids
Goodnight Gallery
Over And Out
On the Mend
Aren't Roller Coasters Supposed to Be Fun?


Weighting It Out
Diva Cup
Going Swimmingly
Not Fair
Hospital Mysteries
Making Advances While Defenses Are Low
Second Thoughts
Did You Hear the One...
The Other F-Word
Adventures in Swimming
No One Likes a Mystery Involving Barf
Medical Mystery Update
30 Days
A Call Nobody Wants to Get
Breathing Easy
Musical Beds
Temporarily Not A Liar
Almost Recovered


The Cottage
House of Dreams
Home Sweet Homes
A Real Vacation


Last Trip to Incrediroll
Friday Night Movie Night
Book Club
Rock of the Week
Neighborhood Recess
Be Careful Where You Hide Your Frogs
And Then We Tried to Go to the Circus
Friday Night Movie Night 2 (With Moral Dilemma Bonus Feature)
When Nothing Means Everything
Little Voices, Big Music, Plus a Perfect Trip to the Fair
The Return of Neighborhood Recess


My Name Is Mom
Pachinko Anyone?
My Least Favorite Quote
Totally Lost
In Defense of Handwriting
Glasses Are Weird
A Change of Toon
Lost Again
Thinking of Katie
Touchy Situations
Things That Go Crash In the Street
The Good Old Days
Nature in our Neighborhood (and Falling from the Trees)
Friendship Auditions
Making Money
Habits, Observations, and Walking the Dog
Glasses Are Still Weird
On Target
It Could Be Croptacular
While I Was at Work
Of Memories and Editing
Odds, Ends, and a Hopeless Challenge
Books vs Movies
The Art of Waiting
Fancy Accomplished
Day of Little Things