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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.


Sarah J.


Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001


Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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October 11, 2006

Jack-O

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 10:02 am

Last night, when Porter and Alice got back from their afternoon with Grandpa, Porter was in something of a funk. According to Lyman, he had been in an odd mood the entire day. Porter sat down on the concrete parking lot with his back up against a cement support and refused to come inside. Nothing would coax him from the parking lot. Eventually, he told me the reason was that he wanted a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern, and he wanted it now.

So Grandpa, me, Porter and Alice strapped ourselves in the car and off we went in search of pumpkins. Problem was, it was nearing 7 o’clock at night and darkness was on its way. The pumpkin patch closest to our house, two exits north near St. Vincent’s was closed. Porter was beside himself and very upset. Next we tried Safeway but they didn’t have any pumpkins yet. More tears. I was running out of ideas, but though there was a slim chance that either one of the drug stores of the craft store, Michael’s, might have pumpkins. Luckily, Rite-Aid did have a small selection of pumpkins in front of the store.

As depressed and upset as Porter was before we found the pumpkins, that’s how happy and elated he was when we did find them. He ran down the aisle of pumpkins, excitedly trying to choose the perfect one. He knew wanted he wanted. It took a surprisingly short amount of time for him to choose his pumpkin. We were in and out in exactly the time it took Grandpa to get Alice out of her car seat.

Porter quickly determined that this pumpkin was the most perfect one there.

Then back at the house, Sarah gutted the pumpkin and carved it to Porter’s exacting specifications: triangle eyes, square nose and a jagged mouth. Once the candle was in place and the lights were out, Porter was a very happy, satisfied boy. We then carried the jack-o-lantern up to his room to use as a nite-light. Here Alice instinctively tries to blow out the candle, causing Porter no small amount of consternation.

Even after all the lights were turned off, Alice remained fascinated by the pumpkin’s glow.

• • •

October 5, 2006

Alice Meets a Ghost

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 8:53 am

Alice first noticed the ghost at her preschool.

Look! A ghost!

I said look! A ghost!

Run away!

• • •

October 3, 2006

Umberellas

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 2:27 pm

It was rainy this week in Marin, and the kids wanted to take their umbrellas (which Porter pronounces “um-ber-ella“) even though it was really just a very light drizzle.

Arriving at school, Porter taunts the rain with his Buzz Lightyear umbrella.

While Alice “dancing in the rain” with her Elmo umbrella.

A boy and his umbrella.

Umbrella! I don’t need no stinkin’ umbrella!

• • •

October 2, 2006

The Takedown

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 11:24 am

Alice “the Fearless” was wrestling with Porter in the kitchen and, despite being half his side managed to take him down and pin him to the floor. That’s out grrl.

You’re coming down with me.

On the floor, wussie brother.

Victorious!

• • •

October 1, 2006

Tired Shoppers

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 6:15 pm

On Sunday, we went up to see GP’s and also hook up their new DVD player. Afterwards, we stopped by Target to pick up supplies. When the kids came upon this modern sofa, they plopped themselves right down and didn’t want to get back up again.

Our little couch potatoes.

• • •

Bubble Hands

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 10:54 am

Alice had an early bath and was in her pajamas, but Porter was still in the bath. Alice snuck in and made off with some of his bubbles.

I’ve got bubbles.

Bubbles on my hands.

Of course, now I don’t know what to do with them.

Perhaps some magic tricks?

“I bet I can make them disappear.”

• • •

September 25, 2006

Sea Ranch Pancakes

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Food — J @ 9:27 am

Even though we’d had pancakes Sunday morning, Porter woke Monday wanting to make some more pancakes.

Pouring the water in to make the batter.

Whipping up the batter.

Damn, that would have been a cute photo.

Much to my astonishment, Porter even set the table!

Though Alice tried to undo his efforts.

• • •

September 24, 2006

Sea Ranching, Day 3

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Trips — J @ 5:19 pm

Saturday evening, Sarah’s Mom and her sister Margaret joined us at the cabin for the remainder of the weekend. Sunday morning, Sarah went out and brought back breakfast for everybody while the rest of us walked down for an early morning stroll along the beach. Afterwards, we drove around to look at some artist’s studios (it was an open studio weekend) and stopped at several beaches to let the kids frolic in the sand.

Porter insisted on spreading jelly on his pancakes.

He ate quite a number of pancake triangles slathered with strawberry jelly.

The kids climbing on Mommy at Pebble Peach (no, not that one).

Later, we went back to the cabin, with Porter running ahead.

The kids then spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the bunk beds.

I even joined in the fun as Alice tried to crush my lungs.

Porter delighted in climbing up to the top bunk.

Where his room had not bee redecorated since the 1980s.

Alice wanted desperately to climb up on top, but she was too little to manage it.

At dusk we went for a stroll to watch the sunset. Porter was amused by a green fire hydrant.

Sunset at Sea Ranch.

• • •

September 23, 2006

Keen Walking

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 5:15 pm

Alice has lately taken a keen interest in walking in either Sarah or my shoes. When we got back to the cabin in the early evening, she walked down the hallway wearing Sarah’s Keens and made it all the way without tripping once.

My what big feet you have!

The better to stomp you, Daddy.

• • •

Sea Ranching, Day 2

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Trips — J @ 10:08 am

Day two of our Sea Ranch Sojourn had the kids up early — what a surprise — and outside playing long before we managed to get ourselves in the road for a long, long drive to Fort Bragg and Paul Bunyan Days.

There was a large dirt mound in front of our cabin the kids found irresitable, especially since Porter had brought along some construction trucks.

And Alice managed to get herself dirty in record time. I think “Pig Pen” may be a fitting nickname for her.

Later Porter practiced hitting baseballs on his t-ball set.

He actually got a hold of quite a few of them.

But for Porter, the lure of playing on the bunk beds proved to be too great and he spent considerable time either playing on them or whining about wanting to.

• • •

September 22, 2006

Sea Ranch Sand Bucket

Categories: Photos, Alice, Trips — J @ 6:58 pm

After unpacking and just before dark, we took a walk down to the beach closest to our cabin, only a fifteen minute walk away. The color of the sand was unusual, a blackish green with very fine grains. Alice really seemed to enjoy running her hands and toes through it.

Alice at Black Beach.

• • •

Sea Ranching

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Trips — J @ 5:03 pm

Labor Day weekend, we rented a cabin at Sea Ranch along the north coast. The place had bunk beds, which I’d been talking to Porter about and I was keen to see how he’d react to them. We thought it would be fun to get away since we had such a good time over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Tahoe.

Shortly after we arrived and unpacked, the kids explored the cabin and Alice was drawn to a green stone frog.

An accidental photo: I caught the split-second before the impact of Porter hitting an unsuspecting Alice in the head.

Porter was very excited about being able to sleep in the top bunk of the bunk beds.

Though I don’t think Alice was as happy she couldn’t climb to the top.

Porter relaxing and looing through one of the books in the cabin, I believe this one was 101 Dalmations.

Alice enjoying her dinner of pizza before bedtime.

• • •

September 20, 2006

Arriving at Abbey

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 9:44 am

Until we figure out another Pre-K program for Porter, if any, we’ve enrolled both him and Alice at his old Montessori school.

Arriving at school one September morning.

• • •

September 17, 2006

Box Fun

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 7:17 am

Who thought you could have so much fun from an empty box and a sink? Alice delighted in filling the empty popsicle box with water.

Alice says. “If it’s water, it’s fun!

• • •

September 16, 2006

Sarah’s Birthday Party

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Alice — J @ 2:00 pm

Three days after Porter’s birthday, Sarah had her birthday, as well. Porter was most insistent that we get her a chocolate cake. So he picked it out and we had the cake, some flowers and presents waiting for her as a surprise when she got home from work. I think both the kids liked the idea of having another birthday party right after we’d just had one.

Alice snuggles up to Sarah as she’s about to blow out her candles.

Alice is dazzled by the sheer number of candles and all the light they give off.

Sarah tries to look at her gifts while Alice tries to climb onto her head.

• • •
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