Holy Saturday
And Baby Turns Four

Easter Sunday

We all slept in, pooped out from the day before. Of course, Mom & Dad slept later than the kids, who were downstairs (where we were) digging around for their as-yet-unhidden Easter baskets. Foiled! They were still upstairs in my closet.


As soon as we were up and at 'em, I had Rob hide the baskets, and then we called the munchkins down to find them. This is one of their most excited walks down the stairs in the whole year!


Chloë - with the severe bedhead - found her basket right away. She always does. It's like she's got a sixth sense for chocolate-detecting.


Jack's basket - with the ghetto plastic bag wrap, because I ran out of the pretty stuff and never did get around to buying more - was next. It always amazes me how they manage to find their own and not each others'!


And last, but not least, Sophia happily found her little bucket of joy.


They each got a Webkinz Cares Lil' Kinz in their baskets, which made the big girl oh-so-happy. The others liked theirs, too. We adopted them later on, and Sophie, who always has the most creative, interesting names for hers, decided on "Ulk Eek." And she coos that name to her little Yorkie as if it were the prettiest name in the world.

I'd tell you what else was in their baskets, but I'll let them do that for you in this hilarious little video. Sorry for my scratchy voice!


Sophia dug right into her candy. Well, they all did, but nobody goes at it like Soap.  I made eggs for breakfast right after that, and the Bigs ate well, but Sophie took a bite or two and then pushed her (new Nemo) plate away. She'd filled up on junk faster than you can say "Happy Easter," and didn't want the good stuff.


Easter goodies, for our centerpiece


I love looking at all our pretty eggs. It soothes me. I'm saving the colorful shells for a craft to do this week with the kids. I hope it pans out!


After everyone was fed, showered and dressed, we visited the Virginia Aquarium down by the Oceanfront. We had two free passes that Chloë had won from school, and a BOGOF coupon from the Entertainment book, so all I had to pay for was two smallies. It was a good deal, and good deals make me proud and pleased, as my father would say. There is a big tank full of harbor seals outside the aquarium, and the kids love to watch them swim slowly and gracefully around in it.


The kids looking at all kinds of teeth - and baleen - from various marine critters. They'd have spent all day at that one "exhibit" if we'd let them! It was pretty cool for them. I could tell they were going to really enjoy the afternoon, and that made me happy.


They crowded around the first big tank, where I struggled to identify a few of the fish. That bothers me, of course, but it's been about a decade since I've been in the field, identifying them! I definitely had pangs of regret - and maybe a quiet tear or two in the dark - about leaving marine science, and this visit brought it all back to me and made me want to re-enter the field. We'll see. I just don't know what I want to do with myself, at this point.


I knew right off that this was a porcupinefish - having dissected a  handful of them in the lab - but Chloë kept trying to tell me it was a pufferfish. Daddy would say, "Don't argue with your mother! You know she's a marine biologist!" (Yeah, maybe, but now I feel a bit phony.)


My lovely family, taking a breather to sit and watch the fish could by. I could be entertained by that view for hours, myself.


The kiddos got a big kick out of the skate and ray touch tank. I tried telling them that this was a stingray, but the bratty 10-year-old kid next to me kept saying, "No, that's a skate, These are stingrays." I seriously wanted to deck him. I hate it when people - especially kids! - give you wrong information with such authority in their voices. It pisses me off. So I asked the guy on duty at the exhibit what it was, and he said, "It's a North Atlantic Stingray." Ha. I glared at the boy. I'm such a grown-up.


The cownose rays were especially fond of Rob. He would tickle their underbellies, and this time, he tried to bring it over to the kids to touch, but he got in trouble for holding on to them. Which he wasn't, really. Oh, well. Foof.


Sophia, looking out on the Chesapeake Bay


The kids watching someone in the room behind the tank remotely try to pick up sea sponges (Phylum Porifera). Rob wanted to do it, but there was a longish line.


Here was an exhibit about getting water and species samples in deep water. Sophia tried to get me to do the machine after her, but I laughed and told her I'd done it in real life! And always, there were octopi stuck to the tubes.


Another fun touch tank, the horseshoe crabs. I must have told the kids a dozen times that they were not true crabs and were instead related to the arachnids. I wonder if they'll remember that for next time? We used to catch tons of these when I was a kid, going crabbing with my family on the Jersey Shore.


Everyone jumped right inside the shark for a photo op, but Sophie jumped right back out again. She didn't like it in there!


They really enjoyed being inside the 'submarine' and pressing all those buttons. It gave a good, up-close-and-personal view of the shark tank, to boot!


See what I mean? Here's the ventral side of a nurse shark. This picture makes Sophie giggle and say, "I can see its crack!"

So... Typepad is being a major pain in my arse, and I've lost my work from this point forward about three times now. If you're my friend on Facebook, the rest of the pictures from this day are on there!  We walked from the aquarium, along the nature trail to the Marsh Pavilion, and had more fun there. I bought a couple of Bunco prizes and a tiny gift for each of us from the shop, before we walked back along the trail to the aquarium again. The plan was to ride the trolley back, but lo and behold, it's  not running yet for the season.

Then, we drove the short drive to the oceanfront and found a wonderful Chinese restaurant for dinner. It was out of this world! And pretty cheap, with lots of food (way too much for me!). Too bad they're not closer to us - or maybe that's a good thing. I'll leave you with this hint about one of the Bunco prizes:


Cool, right?!