November 2005
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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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November 30, 2005

Swinging Around

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Movies — J @ 4:16 pm

Today at O.T. it was a swinging theme day, as Porter played Tarzan all over the place.

Porter swinging on the platform swing.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter swinging on the flat platform swing. 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).

Porter swinging into the Jump-o-Lene ball pit.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter swinging into the jump-o-lene ball pit. 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).

Meanwhile, Alice working on her penmanship, or would that be pen-woman-ship?

• • •

On Top of Spaghetti

Categories: Photos, Alice, Movies, Food — J @ 1:05 pm

Last night was Spaghetti Night, which the kids usually love. Alice is especially starting to love spaghetti and I have ample evidence to support that conclusion.

Mmmmm. Spaghetti.

Spaghetti face.

Alice standing in her chair to reach another piece of bread.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Alice eating spaghetti, which is a good way to see her stuffing her face. 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).

• • •

Climbing Mt. Table

Categories: Alice, Movies — J @ 11:19 am

We had to move around a few things in our living room recently, to accomodate the Christmas tree. One thing that was moved is our big rolled up Persian rug that we haven’t decided where to put, and it’s under Alice’s seat that is attached to our dining room table. She’s discovered she can now climb up into her seat from the top of the rolled up carpet, which is pretty remarkable, especially when you see it for yourself.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Alice climbing up into her seat at the dining room table. 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).

• • •

Relaxing Reading

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

Every month, we get a catalog from Porter’s school from the Scholastic Book Service, which has relatively inexpensive books for sale. Apparently, for every book we buy, a portion goes to the school, so it’s for a good cause. I remember getting these catalogs as a kid and picking out tons of books which my Aunt Helen - bless her heart - would always buy for me. It was probably my first source for choosing my own books for purchase. Surprisingly, I still have a few of them in my library today. Anyway, we always buy quite a few for Porter because Sarah and I share the philosophy, at least as far as the kids are concerned, that you can never have too many books. And Porter loves his books. He’s always paging through them or asking us to read a story to him. Anyway, yesterday a new batch arrived home in his backpack from school. When I emptied his bag, I put them on the kitchen counter. After he got home, he found his new books and hopped up on the kitchen counter and began looking through one of them about trains, of course.

Doing a little light reading.

• • •

Abbey Limbo

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 9:03 am

When we got to Porter’s Montessori yesterday, they were doing the limbo! Porter jumped right in the dance line.

In case you didn’t know, the limbo originated on the island of Trinidad and it was originally a ritual performed to help a recently deceased love one escape from limbo.

How low can you go?

• • •

November 29, 2005

First Playdate Set

Categories: News, Porter, Autism — J @ 4:27 pm

I spoke with Porter’s classmate’s mom today and we’ve scheduled a playdate at the Bay Area Discovery Museum for this Friday. I figured starting a playdate on neutral ground was probably best. So T.J. and Porter will get their first chance to play together outside of school. I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. Look for a report late Friday.

• • •

America’s Next Top Model

Categories: Humor, Alice — J @ 3:26 pm

Sarah’s sister Kit, who apparently is a big fan of the show America’s Top Model, sent us this comparison of Alice’s recent modeling efforts and those of show contestants. You be the judge. Who deserves to be America’s next top model?

Photo Shoot #1: Running from the fashion police.

Photo Shoot #2: Pin-up girl with black car.

• • •

Toobtown, Part Toob

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 1:20 pm

Here are some more photos from yesterday’s trip to Toobtown.

Alice explored the upper levels.

Porter looks down from the observation bubble on level 2.

One of Alice’s many suitors takes her for a romantic walk.

Alice trying to decide her next move. “To slide or not to slide, that is the question.

Porter takes the bi-plane out for a spin.

Bearing down on Snoopy.

Alice drives the train.

• • •

Oops, I Did It Again!

Categories: News, J — J @ 11:53 am

Woo Hoo! I did it! I just finished my 50,000 journey this November. I wrote my 50,577th word a few minutes ago towards the end of Chapter 33 (of 34) of the Ghosts of Autumn for NaNoWriMo. No more words to go! Well, that’s not exactly true. I still have to finish chapter 33, which is almost done, and then write chapter 34, which is the last chapter before the novel itself is finished. Damn, but I am verbose. But I’m still pretty freaking happy that I made it.

• • •

Rainy Day Fun

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

Yesterday, while I was blazing towards the NaNoWriMo finish line, the kids went with Grandma and Grandpa. It poured most of the day, so the kids went to Toobtown in Rohnert Park. It’s a perfect place to take the kids when it’s raining or too cold outside during the winter. And the kids love it, there’s so much for them to do there. Not to mention they have pizza. It’s pretty much toddler heaven. Porter’s been there before but this is Alice’s first trip since she’s been able to move around on her own.

Porter and Alice in the ball pit.

Alice blocking the slide opening from her brother.

Waiting for the alien version of whack-a-mole to emerge from the back of the spaceman. It’s kind of gruesome when you think about it.

Whacking the alien.

Having pizza at one of the space shuttle booths.

Porter coming down one of the many slides at Toobtown.

Alice lounging in one of the modules, trying to decide whether to come down the stairs or return to the ball pit. Decisions, decisions.

• • •

November 28, 2005

Our Little Chickadee

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 2:35 pm

It was a little windy while we waited for Porter’s bus. Not as gusty as Bodega Bay this weekend. Alice was able to stand up on her own, but she wore her warm ducky sweater, all the same.

Waiting in the wind.

Still waiting, but since Porter’s already home, I’m not sure for what.

She tried to get in our car, rather than her grandparents.

Porter shows off his favorite Christmas ornament that he wouldn’t let us put on the tree. Instead, he wanted to play with it and take it to school with him. It also took a bath with him last night plus he slept with it. I think it’s safe to say he likes it.

• • •

Ta Da! The Tree.

Categories: Events, Photos — J @ 2:10 pm

I realized I didn’t post what the finished tree looks like, so here’s our tree for this year’s holiday season.

The Brookston Family Tree 2005

• • •

Trimming the Tree

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, J — J @ 1:06 pm

When we got the tree back to the house, Porter was even more excited about putting the ornaments on the tree.

Porter declared that we “must” put a star on top of the tree. We’re not sure why or where he heard that, but he was quite insistent. He even found a star for us to use.

I started by putting the lights on the tree, while Porter watched one of the Wiggles Christmas DVDs.

Stringing the lights.

Porter was very excited by an ornament we have of the Mercury rocket that has lights and sound effects when you press the red button that simulate a lift off. He must have pressed that button a thousand times already.

After he watched us put a few ornaments on the tree, Porter placed his first one of the tree all by himself. He chose a Thomas the Tank Engine ornament for his first.

We have two large boxes of ornaments that I’ve collected since I was a kid. We have easily enough for ten trees. What we do each year, is choose the ones that strike us at the time we trim the tree. In that way, our favorites go up every year and many are rotated from year to year. Porter had an absolute blast looking through the boxes and picking out ones he liked. Here he’s brining me some more he wants on the tree.

Alice admiring the tree, and especially the cowgirl ornament that she was particularly drawn to.

The kids examine the box of ornaments.

Alice chooses her favorites.

• • •

Monday Morning Motivational #15

Categories: Humor — J @ 11:59 am

I’m struggling with the last few days of NaNoWriMo and finishing my novel. There are three days left, maybe a little less, and I’ve still got a little over 5,000 words to go. This weekend I got almost nothing done, but I rallied this morning writing 2,000 words in two hours but that still leaves me 3,000 to go. That felt good, but I’m feeling the burnout.

• • •

Tree Picking

Categories: Photos, Porter, Sarah — J @ 9:20 am

Yesterday, we took the kids to pick out our pagan winter ritual tree. This year, for the first time, Porter was very excited about picking the tree and knew we’d be taking it back to the house to decorate. It was such fun to see it through his eyes. Alice, of course, wasn’t quite up to speed on the task, but she did seem to enjoy wandering around the forest of trees.

Porter and Sarah search for the perfect tree.

Do you like this one, Porter?

Yes, Mommy, I like this one!

Trying to look through the tree-sizing pole.

Our little elf wandering through the woods.

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