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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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May 11, 2007

Mother’s Day Friday

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah, Movies — J @ 4:39 pm

On Friday, Porter’s new school, BridgePoint Academy, held a special Mother’s Day event and invited all the Mom’s to come by in the afternoon.

Porter and Alice in the morning before school, dressed up to impress Mommy.

Sarah arriving to greet Porter at his school.

Inside his classroom, all the ids lined to sing their Moms a song.

Porter actually wanted to wear a tie for his Mom.

Though he kept playing with it throughout the song.

But he seemed very happy that we were there to watch him.

Press the play button to see Porter sing.

After the song, Porter ran to give Sarah a hug.

Then they both gave me a smile.

Then there were presents for the Mom’s to open.

Outside after the festivities, Sarah pushed Porter on the big boy swing.

• • •

February 4, 2007

Sarah Hoops

Categories: Photos, Sarah, Movies — J @ 6:02 pm

Jen had a hula hoop and so Sarah demonstrated it for the kids, who took a great delight in watching her. Of course, so did the rest of us.

Sarah takes her hips out for a little spin.

Will it go round in circles?


• • •

Colts 29, Kids 30

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies — J @ 3:09 pm

Our friends Melissa and Jen had their annual Super Bowl party and since Melissa was rooting for Da Bears, I decided we’d be Colts fans for the day. Plus, as a lifelong Packers fan it’s pretty hard to want Chicago to win. So we all dressed in blue and white and took Alice’s giant stuffed horse (surely a colt) along with us.

Our host, Melissa, down a PBR.

Outside, Porter blowing bubbles.

Our other hostess, Jen, shows Porter how to blow big bubbles.

Porter kept wanting to sweep clean the outside windows.

But by far his most fun was crushing the empty beer cans.


• • •

January 21, 2007

Drumbalaya

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Movies — J @ 1:13 pm

The other morning, Sarah got out all of our pots and pans for the kids to drum on. I don’t honestly know what she was thinking, but the kids sure did have a good time.

Using spoons for drumsticks, the kids happily turned our home into cacophony of drumming.

Man, the kids could make a racket.

The next Buddy Rich?


Here’s just a sample of what our house sounded like all morning.

• • •

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies, Food — J @ 12:09 pm

Happy Thanksgiving from the Brookston family. It’s been a while since my last post, but one of these days I’ll catch up. In the emantime, enjoy some photos and a movie from the kids’ Montessori Thanksgiving feast that took place on Wednesday.

The kids, all dressed up for Thankgiving.

The Montessori Thanksgiving table set out for all of the kids.


The kids sang a little song of Thanksgiving.

Porter and a friend chow down.

Alice in her white dress at the table.

• • •

June 19, 2006

Alice Takes the Stage

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

Toward the end of the program at Porter’s Spring Sing, we moved down right in front of the stage so that he could see us better, which did seem to calm him down. Another thing being close to the stage meant was that Alice was closer to it and at one point she just walked right on up and started dancing with Porter. In fact given she had no practice whatsoever, she did much better than he did.

Alice, being as fearless a person as I’ve ever met, just walked right up on stage with Porter.

At first she just watched Porter.

As he started dancing again after standing still for the last several songs.

Then she took a last hit of milk energy before busting her own moves, as the movie below attests.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Alice up on stage dancing to the Sufari’s Wipeout. One warning, this is a BIG file, but well worth it. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

June 17, 2006

Spring Sing 2006

Categories: Photos, Porter, Friends, Movies — J @ 12:33 pm

Friday evening was the annual Spring Sing at Porter’s Montessori pre-school. He started out pretty good — certainly better than than last year— but after a few songs stopped singing and just looked a little scared and sad. Overall though he seemed to do much better than last year though and once we moved closer to the stage and he could see us more easily he his spirits did seem to pick up a bit. It was great fun to see all the kids and moving it to the eveing (and outside) worked out great this year.

Ms. Liza leads the kids onto the stage.

Porter walking in awed by the crowd of parents.

Ms. Liza starts the kids singing.

The kids on stage. Porter is on the right, wearing a white shirt.

Working on the choreography.

Hmm. What’s next?

Where’s mom and dad?

I’m not sure if he’s waving to us or trying to follow the dance moves.

The kids near the big finale.

But by this time Porter had shut down and stopped participating.

He was just too cool for school.

Practicing his James Bond poses. “I take my milk shaken not stirred. After all, it’s a milkshake, isn’t it?

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter singing and dancing to Neil Diamond’s Sing. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

June 6, 2006

Fortune Favors the Bold

Categories: Photos, Humor, J, Movies — J @ 1:49 pm

Okay, here’s a weird one, my mouth is poised on the brink of bizarre fame … well then again, maybe not. Anyway, The Flaming Carrot is an old independent black and white comic book about a guy with a carrot for a head with flame coming out of the top. It was a pretty funny comic in its day, and I always loved his motto or tagline, “Fortune Favors the Bold!” The character said is all the time and I always liked it. I used to have a t-shirt of it back in the mid-80s. So why bring it up now? Because several months ago my old Canon camera had broken and I was playing around with it after I finally got it working again. I was looking for a subject while waiting for Porter’s bus to arrive and not seeing anything to shoot, I turned the camera on myself and shot a picture of my mouth wide open using the macro function. I thought the results were pretty funny but I didn’t think I would do anything with the photo. But Sarah told me I should “be brave” and post the picture anyway. It was then that the Flaming Carrot’s words resonated in my head and so I posted it on my photoblog back in December.

Click on the photo to see the original photoblog post.

Anyway, I thought that would be the end of it, but I just got an e-mail from some young guys in England with a garage band called Multi Purpose Kompost. They recently completed work on a video for their new song, The Edible Song. And they wrote to tell me they used my mouth in their new video. You can see it at Google Video. It’s pretty funny and mercifully short, since it relies heavily on Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. If you want to know more about the band, they are listed on MySpace.

So you see fortune does really favor the bold. If I hadn’t posted my big mouth at Sarah’s urging then I wouldn’t be in a music video. Now that’s fame. Who knows what could come of it. Breath mint ads, perhaps? Dental advertising? And did those teeth in ancient times walk upon England’s mountain green …. [channeling Monty Python again.]

• • •

June 5, 2006

Mah Na Mah Na Camping

Categories: History, Humor, Movies — J @ 9:46 am

For some reason this weekend’s camping trip had a theme song. We sang it constantly all weekend-long. Seriously. The song was Mana Mana, or in it’s original spelling, Mah Na Mah Na. If the title isn’t enough to remind you of the song, click below to hear the song as performed by the Muppets. You can listen along as you read the fascinating story of this song.

Mah Nà Mah Nà was actually was first heard in a Swedish softcore porn film from 1968 by the name of Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso (English title: Sweden, Hell and Heaven), a pseudo documentary film about wild sexual activity and other behavior in Sweden (”Mah Nà Mah Nà” played under a portrayal of lesbian BDSM in the film.). It was written by Piero Umiliani, and “the original version interpolates melodies from Swedish Rhapsody (”Midsommarvaka” (”Midsummer Vigil“)) by Hugo Alfvén, Santa Lucia, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, the jazz standard Lullaby of Birdland, and others.”

It was first performed in the U.S. by the Muppets on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969. It was also the very first skit on the very first Muppet Show when the TV series debuted in 1976. See, and you thought you wouldn’t learn anything today. You can read even more about at Wikipedia. Also, Google Video has the video from the Muppet Show.

There are no actual lyrics (as you can see below) which made it easy for us to sing.

Lyrics to Mah Na Mah Na:

Chorus:
Mahna Mahna
Do doo be-do-do
Mahna Mahna
Do do-do do
Mahna Mahna
Do doo be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do be-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

(Improv. by Mahna Mahna)

• • •

May 18, 2006

Throwing Stones

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Movies — J @ 2:33 pm

Once Porter got used to being in the water, he really got into competing with Alice at throwing stones. But he started throwing the stones up in the air as high as he could throw them. Luckily, that wasn’t very far and he only once came close to hitting someone.

Alice throwing stones.

Looking back to make sure we were watching.

Check out that mud stain on Alice’s bottom.

Porter finds a really big rock.

And winds up to throw it.

And flings it as far as he can.

Porter wades into deeper water in search of bigger rocks.

And pulls out a big one.

Eyeing his target, the sky above.

Then throwing it up as high as he can.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter throwing stones. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

May 17, 2006

Bike Races

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Movies — J @ 9:11 am

On Mother’s Day it was very hot in Cotati, so we spent a lot of time out on the back deck. Most of the chairs ended up in the center creating a natural race track around the deck. The kids, of course, discovered this and the deck became a speedway.

Porter on his trike.

And Alice on her train, as Porter rounds the corner.

Julien and Alice square off.

Porter passes Alice again, lapping her for the umpteenth time.

Coming around the back of the speedway.

Where a crash with Julien ensues.

Alice looks on as Julien and Porter crash again by the hot tub.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter, Julien and Alice racing around on the back deck. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

May 10, 2006

Round Red Race

Categories: Photos, Friends, Movies — J @ 2:29 pm

Last week on Thursday, we met Porter’s friend T.J. at the Marin Civic Center park for a playdate. T.J. just left the class the shared so they’ve been missing one another. At the park itself, one of the things they had a lot of fun doing was racing cars around the round red elevated sandbox.

Racing around.

And around.

Making a pit stop.

Before heading out for a race in the opposite direction.

Happily in this race there were only winners.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter and T.J. racing around the red circle. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

April 30, 2006

Alice Tries the Big Green Ball

Categories: Photos, Alice, Movies — J @ 2:18 pm

Alice, who’s always trying to keep up with her big brother, kept trying to climb up on the big green ball, too. So we let her take a few turns, too.

Alice atop the big green ball.

Bouncing on the ball.

And landing on the cushions.

Here’s a movie of Alice playing on the big green ball at Porter’s O.T. on Wednesday. Notic e how after Alice’s jump she tries everything she can to thwart Porter’s next jump. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

The Big Green Ball

Categories: Photos, Porter, Movies — J @ 11:15 am

At Occupational Therapy last Wednesday, one of Porter’s tasks was to climb up onto a big green rubber ball and then jump down onto a bed of cushions. Needless to say, Porter attacked this one with relish (which is also green).

King of the hill.

Preparing to jump.

Leaping into the sky.

Jumping into the cushions.

Sliding into home.

Here’s a movie of Porter climbing up and jumping off the big green ball at O.T. on Wednesday. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •

April 29, 2006

Up a Ladder

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Movies — J @ 3:15 pm

While Alice was busy stealing koosh balls, Porter was working on climbing a ladder. He got pretty good at it over time, but Theresa kept making it more challanging by varying the amount of tension she put on the bottom of the ladder to hold it in place. The less tension, the harder it was to climb.

Aliuce makes her escape while Porter climbs.

Having a little trouble half way up.

Starting again from the bottom.

Stuck again, mid-way to the top.

Once he reached the top, Porter would climb into the lycra swing.

Later in Porter’s O.T. session he also spent some time swinging on the trapeze again. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

• • •
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