Here was Riley on Wednesday.
Long time readers will remember that there was a period when Riley was in the hospital quite a bit. He has asthma that gets triggered by viruses, and for a stretch there, it was triggered A LOT.
But it's been well over a year since the last trigger, and it was a little bit of a surprise that on Wednesday, he was back in. (It was a bit comforting, sort of, that most of the people there didn't know him - for a while there they considered naming a room after him.)
Here, him and his mom, Weird Haired Mom, are showing off the balloon "animals" I made to amuse him. Alert readers will have already figured out what actually cured him, sitting on the tray to the left - BBQ Pringles. They fix just about everything.
But could they fix him to the point where he could do a 5K race on Saturday?
He was released on Friday, and here he is on a sculpture on the shores of Oakland's Lake Merritt on Saturday morning, waiting for the race to start. (Darci and him were troubled that there was no clear answer to the question, "What is this sculpture supposed to be?" "Fun" turned out to be an unsatisfactory answer.)
For those keeping track, this picture shows way number 1281 that a little brother can aggravate his big sister - holding the porta-pottie door open while she is using it is pure genius. (OK, taking a picture of this happening goes on another list - way number 635 that grandpa can embarrass his grandkids.)
We were at Lake Merritt for the Healing Hearts: Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention 5K race. Yes - an event that combines something I love (running races) with something that is going to be VERY uncomfortable to make jokes about.
Fortunately, the event started with a warmup that was largely based on doing The Hokey Pokey, which got the uncomfortable bit out of the way early. (Actually, this went over well. Note that Riley, the kid with the white hood on, is still busy putting his right-hand-in while the others are already putting their left-hands-in. I suspect this was another attempt to aggravate his sister, but she didn't notice, so I don't think it counts.)
Most of the race was on sidewalks or paved trails, but there were some sections with dirt and puddles, which of course, I prefer by a LARGE margin.
There was an aid station at about the halfway point. Since I was drafting off the guy in yellow, and since he didn't stop at the aid station, I didn't stop there either. (He would end up beating me by about 53 seconds - I paused to take a picture and was not able to ever catch up again. He is more than 20 years older than me and would have flat out embarrassed me if we had done another lap. I am in awe.)
I managed to finish a few minutes before Mrs Notthat - she was awesome! (She also ended up with a few blisters though. The Hokey Pokey woman gave her some great ideas about how to avoid them in the future.)
WHM and the grandkids were walking the 5K (WHM has a leg issue and Riley just got out of the hospital - just in case you have a really short memory). Darci, however, had no reason to not run, so she found someone to go with and took off. When I showed up, this poor woman was quite relieved. "That girl can TALK!"
So I headed in with Darci, and once she saw the finish line, she took off.
A few minutes later, WHM and Riley showed up. There were joyous hugs all around.
Here are all of us at the end of the race. We all wore t-shirts honoring the memory of Mrs Notthat's older sister.
There was this great climbing tree that I assumed would entertain the grandkids for at least an hour. Not a chance - no way to compete with what was just a short walk away...
Fairyland! WHM and the grandkids went in while Mrs Notthat and I walked another lap around the lake.
Fairyland was apparently a blast (at least if you were a little kid).
And that's about it. The race was well done (timing chips, an aid station, and of course the Hokey Pokey), the lake was great, the $19 eggs Mrs Notthat had while we were taking our second lap were apparently really good, and of course, what could beat Fairyland?
Well, maybe not having to post any more hospital pictures.
That's it - move along...