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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 3, 2006


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.


• • •

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.

• • •

September 25, 2006

Cannon Fodder

Categories: Photos, Porter, J, Sarah, Trips — J @ 11:48 am

After our pamcake breakfast, we packed up the car and headed for home. On the way we stopped at Fort Ross, a Russian settlement that lasted from 1812 to 1841. At first, Porter was very resistent about stopping at the old fort, but once he discovered a cannon, he was much more enthuiastic.

Porter in front of Fort Ross, with the Russian chapel in the background.

The Russian orthodox chapel.

Porter looking out a second-story window.

Hey look, a cannon!

So when they asked for volunteers to shoot off the cannon, Porter became one of them.

Porter and his cannon tool, to twist insude the barrel.

First the barrel is cleared out.

Then Porter twists in his tool to insure no embers or other material remains in the barrel.

He had a little trouble reaching, so he stood on me so that he could get a better angle into the cannon.

Afterwards, he wanted to critique his performance with the cannon experts.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of the Cannon firing. But be warned, this is a BIG file. 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).

• • •

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

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 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 21, 2006

Banana Face

Categories: Photos, Porter, Food — J @ 1:47 pm

Despite the fact that I told Porter we already had bananas at home, he was unrelenting in insisting that we need more bananas during a trip the grocery store.

This is my banana face.

• • •

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 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.

• • •

September 14, 2006

Rocks Out of His Head

Categories: News, Photos, Humor, Porter — J @ 2:52 pm

I took Porter to see an ear specialist this afternoon to get the remaining rock removed from his ear. It took a few tries but he had all the special tools and got the job done relatively quickly. The second stone, which was the one lodged closest to Porter’s eardrum was almost as large as the first. I’m keeping them. I think they’ll make dandy souvenirs one day.

The rock on the left is the first one out and the one on the right is the stone the specialist got out this afternoon.

• • •

Rocks in His Head

Categories: News, Humor, Porter — J @ 11:13 am

Okay, perhaps I shouldn’t be laughing about this, but it is pretty funny. Today I took Porter to the doctor for his 5-year check up. Everything looked great and he was very cooperative for a change and even managed to do his eye test, ear test and even gave a urine sample. For every one of those tasks, this is the very first time he cooperated and completed the test. He even used the big-boy eye chart with the letters on it instead of the baby one with just shapes. Porter is now 40 3/4 lbs. and is 43 1/2 in. tall.

But here’s the thing. A couple of weeks ago he began complaining, first to his grandparents, then to us, about having rocks in his ears. It’s one of those things we assumed he meant figuratively, like his ear had closed up and wouldn’t pop, or at least something like that. We looked in his ear but didn’t see anything. We asked him about it and whether or not is was bothering him and he said, “no.” But every couple of days he’d mention it again so it was in the back of my mind while at the doctor this morning, so I mentioned it to him. When he looked in Porter’s ears, what do you suppose he found? Not one, but two rocks were actually in his ear! One he was able to dig out and I have it wrapped in a tissue in my pocket. Considering it was lodged in his ear, it’s a pretty big rock. Unfortunately, the other one is too close to his ear drum and I have to take him to see a specialist this afternoon to get it out. So for now, at least, we can say “Porter has rocks in his head” and really mean it. Of course, the larger question of how they got there remained an unsolvable enigma.

• • •

September 13, 2006

Sarah: Porter’s Mommy

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Sarah — J @ 3:00 pm


While there are plenty of pictures of both Porter and Alice elsewhere on the blog, these two were taken in the days before digital photography.

New Mom Sarah and Porter.

Sarah and Porter in San Diego.

• • •

September 11, 2006

Beating the Hell Out of Superman

Categories: Events, Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Sarah, Friends — J @ 4:54 pm

Since Porter insisted on a Superman theme for his party, the piñata was Superman’s torso. It felt somewhat strange that the object of the game was to beat the image of a person, albeit a superhuman one. Still, the kids were smacking a paper mâché person with a stick as hard as they could. If that’s not surreal, I donn’t know what is.

John and Zenobia’s daughter Samira taking a whack at Superman.

Alice, with Sarah’s help, tries to hit the Man of Steel.

Then Porter tried to hit him from behind.

Then as he spun around, he whacked across the face.

Superman’s superhuman strength proved too much for the kids and we had to pull the string to begin the mad scramble for the prizes inside.

Porter even managed to fill his bag.

• • •
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