April 2006
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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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April 30, 2006

Margaret: Sister, Animal Lover, Reader

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Alice, Family — J @ 5:00 pm

Today was Sarah’s sister Margaret’s birthday. Margaret and her husband Don came over for a little cake and ice cream.

The kids watch as Marget prepares to blow out her candle.

Porter can’t resist helping, of course.

Margaret makes her wish.

And offers Porter a chocolate star.

But the kids prefer the white cupcakes.

So much so that Porter goes for seconds.

Porter “helps” Margaret open her present.

Margaret snuggling with Alice.

As Alice decimates a tangerine from the inside out.

Happy birthday Margaret!

• • •

Lagunitas Parade Float

Categories: Photos, Beer — J @ 4:01 pm

Today we took Porter and Alice, to the Butter & Eggs Day Parade in Petaluma, California. Porter, of course, has been going through a farm animal phase and we though he would get to see a lot of horses and other animals in the parade. What we didn’t count on seeing was a float from Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma, though I suppose we should have. They had a flatbed truck with a band playing and all sorts of merriment going on. When the parade ended they kept on driving down the street, not stopping until they reached the Buckhorn Saloon, where I finally caught up with them for a drink.

The Lagunitas Float.

Pat Mace, a friend and salesman for Lagunitas at the Buckhorn Saloon after the parade.

• • •

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).

• • •

Koosh Girl

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

At Porter’s O.T. there is a laundry basket literally filled with kooshes of varying sizes. Naturally, Alice’s cat burglar tendencies kicked in and she started making off with as many as she could carry.

Alice trying to carry as many as possible.

Which made her very happy, indeed.

• • •

Sliding Smile

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 10:25 am

For a long tim, Alice was scared of the slide. She’d reluctantly go down one with Sarah or me but she never quite seemed like she was enjoying herself very much. But lately that’s all changed. At Porter’s Montessori, she happily climbs the steps that lead to the slide. And once there, she now gleefully comes down the slide without a moment’s hesitation.

Look out below! Here I come!”

• • •

April 28, 2006

Horse Bouncing

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 2:36 pm

During Tuesday’s birthday party at Montesspri, Alice discovered the bounce horse in the playground. She hopped on and rode around for quite some time. Will she develop her Mother’s love of horses? Who knows, but she’s certainly loving the bounce horse.

Giddy-up, horsie!

Come on Bullseye, faster!

They’re gaining on us!

Yeah, we won!

• • •

Alice in “The Laughing Castle”

Categories: Photos, Alice, Movies — J @ 1:11 pm

Here is Alice’s comedic debut in an outdoor film in a castle. It’s a heartwarming tale of a girl, a door and a window known as the Laughing Castle.

Here are some stills from the film:

Lauging at the door.

At the window of the castle.

Reaching out to her audience.

Laughing at the window.

Taking her bows at the end of her award-winning performance.

So without further ado, here’s a Quicktime debut of Alice starring in the Laughing Castle. 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).

P.S. - To get your own marquee from the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland, visit Red Kid.

• • •

Group Photo Phriday #10

Categories: History, Photos, Sarah, Friends — J @ 11:59 am

This is another later tailgating trip to the stick. I say that again based on the fact that Sarah is in the picture. This picture was sent in by Nikki, who sent me in a few choice pictures she found. It looks like we were there either very early or stayed very late after the game. Or perhaps the parking lot is empty because it was raining?

Bottom row: Andy. Second row, from left: Michelle, Christi and Pat. Third row, from left: Mark, Zenobia, Suzanne, Jenny, not sure who that is in the dark baseball cap, Sarah and Mike S. Fourth row, from left: Shmare, Karen and Nikki. Fifth row, from left: Don’t know and I can’t remember her name although I remember she went with us on a trip to San Diego once. Top row, from left: John S., Sheldon, John L., and Nate.

Here’s a bonus picture which I think was taken at the same game as the photo above it. I have two questions about this photo, bonus points if you can answer them. 1. I’m in the red cap. What the hell am I putting in my mouth? 2. Whose lap is Sarah sitting on?

• • •

The Cement Pinata

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

Danielle’s birthday party on Tuesday also included a pinata in the shape of a cake. All of the kids lined up to take a turn whacking it three times. But it must have been made of cement, because not only didn’t the kids break into the pinata but none of the adults who tried could break it open either.

Porter’s friend Parker tries his hand at the pinata.

The kids lined up to have a go at the pinata.

Alice whiffs.

Even Danielle’s mother couldn’t break the pinata.

Eventually they broke open the pinata manually so the kids scrambled to scoop up the candy and prizes inside.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of Porter whacking the pinata. As you can see, Porter didn’t stop at three but hit it two extra times. 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).

• • •

Danielle: Porter’s Friend

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies — J @ 8:19 am

When we arrived at Porter’s Montessori on Tuesday there was a birthday party. It was for Danielle, who is the daughter of one of the instructors at the school. She turned four and they were having a big party. So Alice and I stayed for about an hour rather than ducking out right away, as we often do.

Porter natutrally gravitated toward the cake, like a moth to a flame.

The birthday girl Danielle (in red) examined her cake, with Porter’s friend Parker on the other side of the table.

As usual, Porter manages to get close to the cake action as Danielle prepares to blow out her candles.

While the kids are off playing and the cake has been cut, Alice sneaks back to sample some cake.

Ummm, cake.

Alice has the cake table all to herself.

Until finally the rest of the kids join her at the cake table.

Where Porter wolfs down his cake.

And Alice picks at her second piece.

Here’s a Quicktime movie of all the kids singing happy birthday to Danielle. Notice Porter is helping her blow out her candle. 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 27, 2006

Pirate Gal

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 3:25 pm

Avast ye, me hearties. Whilst at the toy store Sunday, Alice donned a pirate hat and said “arrrrr” a lot.

Alice as a pirate.

Like her baseball cap, she tried it on backwards for a time before realizing that it doesn’t quite work that way.

Captain Alice, queen of the pirates.

• • •

Spring Flowers

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 1:32 pm

We’ve got this small tree outside of our living room window growing in the patch of dirt next to our driveway/parking lot. With all the rain we got over the winter, it’s been blooming like mad this spring. Over the weekend, Porter was admiring it from the window and asked me to go to the tree and pick some flowers for him.

The tree in front of our home. That’s our window in the upper left corner of the photo.

Porter smelling the white flowers from the tree.

Giving me another fake smile.

Shaking the flowers.

• • •

New Hawaiian Car Seat

Categories: News, Photos, Alice — J @ 12:07 pm

Porter and Alice continue to grow, of course, and are starting to outgrow their car seats. This is especially true for Alice, who’s still been facing backwards and is generally unhappy in the car. But she’s finally big enough and old enough to face forward so last weekend we picked up new bigger car seats, Britax Marathons, for Porter and graduated Alice into his old Roundabouts. Sarah wanted something a little bit fun for her car and we found one with a subtle Hawaiian print which matched her interior perfectly.

Alice in her new luau chair.

She’s definitely loving being able to face forward.

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