Thursday, March 30, 2006

Final Four!

The UCLA Bruins advance to the Final Four this weekend.

The last time UCLA advanced to the Final Four was in 1995.

Joe Bruin circa 1995
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Times sure have changed in the past 11 years . . .

Back in 1995, I was single, working my first job as a teacher, with time and money to spare.

So as UCLA wrapped up a victory in the Western Regional final against the University of Connecticut, thus advancing to the Final Four, my friends and I began to talk.

"Okay, if UCLA wins this game, we're going to Seattle (sight of the Final Four in 1995), right?"

It was a rhetorical question. None of us were married. We had no kids. No mortgages.

In short, absolutely no obligations.

Heck, most of us were still living in the same Westwood apartments in which we had graduated from UCLA.

So as soon as the UCLA's victory over UConn was complete, we put our plan into motion. We split up to our respective apartments to begin making calls (remember, no cells phones in 1995).

One of us secured plane tickets.

One of us secured hotel rooms.

Yet another person arranged for a rental car.

I was in charge of finding tickets to the game.

After some effort, I found five tickets through a ticket broker for $300 each -- that was for three games: the semi-final games on Saturday April 1, 1995, and the final game on Monday April 3, 1995.

Our $300 Nosebleed Seats
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The seats were horrible. Nosebleed City. But we were going to the Final Four!

All the flights from Los Angeles to Seattle were sold out. We secured plane tickets to Portland, Oregon.

All the hotel rooms in Seattle were booked. We found lodging at a "Comfort Inn" in Everett, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle.

We flew into Portland the morning of Saturday, April 1, 1995. We got our rental car (a minivan if I recall, because all the other cars were sold out), and drove the three hours to Seattle.

Our seats were horrible. Just about one step away from sitting on the roof. But we had a great time. UCLA ended up winning the whole thing, and we had a great time hanging out and partying in Seattle.

Back when we had money to burn, no kids, and no mortgages!
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Final score: UCLA 89, Arkansas 78

Go Bruins!
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U-C-L-A Fight! Fight! Fight!
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Fast forward 11 years.

UCLA is returning to the Final Four for the first time since 1995.

I did manage to get to the Regional Final this year in Oakland, to watch the Bruins defeat Gonzaga and Memphis.

Right after the game, I called one of my friends who travelled with me to Seattle in 1995.

"What'd 'ya think? Road trip to Indianapolis (Site of this years Final Four)."

I'll admit -- we thought about it -- for about five seconds.

But then we started thinking about:
  • Our kids.
  • Our mortgages.
  • Our kids.
  • Work.
  • Our kids.
Indianapolis is just too far, when you consider the cost of going to the game will pay for at least one month of house payments, not to mention other small items like: diapers, college savings accounts, and -- oh, yeah -- FOOD.

No, we'll be better off at home ordering a Costco pizza and rooting on the Bruins in front of the television.

Hopefully, though, in about five years, with the kids a little older, UCLA will be back in the Final Four, and then who knows?

Final Four? Who cares about the Final Four? We want peas and applesauce!
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Stories Only A Parent Would Love

The girls are developing so fast, it's almost impossible to keep track of them day-to-day.

Yesterday, for example, Terri and I fed the girls, then went out to our own dinner at Little Saigon Restaurant for some Pho.

Caroline was staring at a little girl off at a distant table, when she suddenly squinted, then opened her eyes real wide. She squinted again, opened her eyes real wide, then started laughing hysterically at herself.

I'd never seen her squint before. I never even really thought about when someone teaches themselves to squint. But Caroline learned it yesterday, and she really cracked herself up over it.

They at home after dinner, Caroline was crawling around on the floor when she suddenly stopped, reached back, scratched the back of her leg, and then proceeded to keep on crawling to wherever she was going.

Again -- I've never seen her scratch (on purpose), but there it was.

I realize that I've probably strayed into the realm of "This Story Is Only Interesting To Parents", but I wanted to record the moment for posterity.

That way, when Caroline asks, "What was I like as a seven month old?", I can show her this blog.

New Things Being Learned Every Day!
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Grandma bought these hair clips.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


"Stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven’t before"
- R.E.M.

It was so quick, there was no time for a photo.

Tonight, Katherine pulled herself up on one of her toys -- first on her knees, then on her feet.

It's the first time either girl has pulled herself up from a crawling position to a standing position.

Caroline has been able to pull herself onto her knees and into a sitting position for the past few days, but Katherine has shown no such inclination.

Until tonight.

As she braced herself against her toy, Katherine looked up at me as if to say, "Look at me!"

Alas, Katherine can not yet stand and look at Daddy at the same time.

Katherine quickly tumbled backward, landed on her butt, and rolled back onto her back.

Luckily, her fall was broken by the carpet, her diaper, and her butt -- and the fact that she stands only a few feet off the ground!

Still, I was very proud of my little girl. Her first time pulling herself up to stand without help!

Next time she does it, I'll try to be ready with the camera. Until them, here's a photo of Katherine in her new chair, getting ready to eat:

It's hungry work trying to learn to stand
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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Humor in the High Chair

This morning I'm feeding the girls.

Caroline has taken a good amount of applesauce, but refuses to take any cereal.

She clamps her mouth tight.

She shakes her head from side to side.

She simply does not want the cereal.

The last spoonful, she grabs the spoon by the head, and smears the cereal onto her bib.

Any rational parent at this point would conclude Caroline is done, right?

That's what I figured. So I start to clean up.

I take the dishes to the sink.

I come back. Caroline is licking the cereal off the bib.

You heard me. She is licking the cereal off the bib.

If you saw her chomping at that bib, you'd think I was starving her.

You gotta laugh, so you don't scream!

Where's the food? It's on my bib!!
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Stop the Presses!

Some days I wonder why we spend so much money buying toys for the girls.

Today was one of those days.

I had the girls early in the morning, and we were sitting in their room, their toys all around them:

Playing with the expensive stuff.
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As you can see, the girls were having a fine time playing with some of their more expensive toys, but after about 15 minutes they began to get restless.

I held Katherine when she became particularly fussy, but after less than a minute, she was squirming to get off my lap.

The focus of her attention?

Not any of the $25+ toys strewn across the floor of their room.

Instead, Katherine had locked onto the newspaper I had brought into the room and dropped into the corner.

I put her on the ground, and she crawled quickly to the newspaper.

She grabbed the front page, manipulated it in her hands, then began to wave it madly in the air. Within a few minutes she had reduced the front page to scrap paper.

So much for reading the front page!
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I watched her closely, to make sure she didn't start to eat the paper. As soon as she started to put any part of the paper towards her mouth, I'd take the paper, wad it into a ball, and toss it out of the room.

Katherine, of course, thought this was the greatest game I'd ever played with her.

Within about 10 minutes we'd pretty much destroyed the Saturday paper:

"First Amendment? I just like the way the paper sounds when I wave it in the air!"
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However, I'm glad to see that Katherine takes such an interest in the written word. Granted, she's not yet of the stature of her namesake, Katharine Graham, but it's a start.

Caroline, if you're wondering, isn't into newspapers. She loves to play with envelopes, but that's a story for another day:

Mail Call for Caroline
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Sweet 16

No, the title of the post does not mean the girls have aged 16 years in one day, or are living some sort of "Freaky Friday" moment.

The title refers to the UCLA Bruins march into the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournamant.

To celebrate the Bruin's win in the NCAA Tournament, Mommy took this photo of the girls (David did not FORCE her to do it!).

On to Oakland!!!

Ready for an 8-Clap!
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Seven Months Old

The girls are seven months old.


A highlight of their recent accomplishments:
  • Eating a variety of solid foods. Mostly vegetables and mixed grain cereal.
  • Crawling. Katherine crawls like a soldier (on her stomach). Caroline took longer to crawl, but went straight onto her knees.
  • Sippy cups. The girls are starting to get used to drinking out of a sippy cup.
  • Playing with each other. The girls spend a lot of time playing with each other, or quietly by themselves. They often go for extended periods without looking for Mommy or Daddy. They can crawl, roll, or just sit and keep themselves occupied with a toy for minutes at a time.
Here are some recent photos:

Katherine with her sippy cup
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The girls playing by themselves, oblivious to where Dad is!
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March Madness

Bruin Basketball
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For any devoted college sports fan, March is the best month of the year.

It's March Madness. The NCAA Basketball Tournament. The best sporting event of the year.

Caroline knows what a die-hard Bruin Basketball fan Daddy is, and in honor of March Madness, she put on the following display of her dribbling skills:

Click here to watch the video described above. (Must have Windows Media Player)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sibling Rivalries, Part II ("Caroline Strikes Back")

A few weeks ago, I talked about "Sibling Rivalries", and described a situation in which Katherine took a toy away from Caroline.

Well, last week, Caroline had her revenge.

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If you look at the above photo closely, you will see that Caroline has in her left hand a set of plastic keys on a ring.

Just seconds before this photo was taken, Katherine had been happily playing with those keys.

Caroline isn't crawling yet, but she's become very adept at moving around by rolling on her side to get to where she wants to go.

In this case, she saw Katherine playing with "her" keys (Caroline plays with those keys a lot).

Caroline, with no small effort, rolled from her back to her stomach, and from her stomach to her back, until she was within striking distance of Katherine.

Daddy, meanwhile, watched to make sure no one would get hurt, but otherwise kept out of it.

Caroline executed her last roll from her back to her stomach, until she was face to face with Katherine.

Caroline then deftly plucked the key rings out of Katherine's hand.

Then, ninja-like, Caroline executed a stomach-to-back roll away from Katherine, safely clutching the purloined keys in her left hand.

Katherine, as you can guess, began to howl almost immediately.

Unfortunately, I was unable to capture the complete essence of the moment.

You see, Katherine has a much more mellow disposition than Caroline.

As soon as I opened the camera, and the lens made it's whirring noise as it opened, Katherine stopped crying, and looked at the camera with interest.

Thus, the photo above doesn't do justice to the fact that sibling rivalries are alive and well in the Lim household!


Lest you think all the girls do is fight over toys, however, I offer you this photograph, in which Caroline and Katherine cooperated long enough to give me quite a lovely recital with this tambourine:

Live in Concert: One Night Only.
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