Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week Five Part Nine: Lothlorien

Francine (Riedmayer) Whitfill, 37 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. Lifetime want: Become World-Class Ballet Dancer. Astrological sign: Virgo.
Jihoon Whitfill, 30 years old. Aspiration: Pleasure. Lifetime want: Have 50 Dream Dates. Astrological sign: Cancer.
Lauren Whitfill, 2 years old. Astrological sign: Virgo.

Fran is the third of Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab's six daughters (and the youngest of the ten founders, having been a toddler when she moved to Prosperity Plains). She is very much the middle child of the family--she never had much in common with the twins, who were 10 years older than she was, but she also didn't have much in common with the Landgraab kids, who were all at least 10 years younger than she was. (Note: When composing the intro I realized that Fran should have been born in 2002, not 2003. I'm not going to go back and edit the family trees in the old posts, but I've fixed it now.)

Jihoon is the third and youngest (adopted) son of founder Larita Whitfill. His older brothers both married earlier in this round, so Larita is starting to get a decent number of grandchildren, though she'll most likely never hit the 20 grandchildren impossible want. (She's dead, anyway, so it wouldn't have counted.)

Oh, hello. Just let me finish this set and I'll be with you.

Yeah, it's not easy to look like this when you're past 50 and have been pregnant three times, especially...oh, they aren't caught up on that? Okay. Where should I start? During my second pregnancy? Okay, here we go.

Jihoon and I had been married for about six years and our first child, Lauren Elise, was not quite 3. We named her Lauren as an oblique tribute to Jihoon's late mother, Larita. Then her middle name is after Elise Kules, my best friend from college. Lauren was--still is--absolutely the light of our lives; it was just a given that we'd try for another. I mean, I didn't want a huge family like my sister Joan but I wasn't against babies either and Jihoon and I...well, we were--still are--very much in love. So we let nature take its course and found ourselves expecting again.
Our second daughter was born on May 5, 2040, just 9 days before Lauren's birthday. We named her Rishell Veronica after Jihoon's sisters. (Rishell was also my best friend growing up and is still a very dear friend. It's because of her that Jihoon and I met.) Anyway, we decided to call her River for short. It's a little corny, I know, but there aren't a lot of good nicknames out there for Rishell and we didn't want her to get mixed up with her aunt all the time.

With two kids, money was kind of tight, so Jihoon was working really hard to get a promotion. (He worked as a teacher at the time.) He really struggled with some of the material he had to learn, so I'd help him out. Teaching was never really a good fit for him, but it gave us a steady income when we needed it most. I really appreciate that he worked so hard at it so that I could be home with our daughters sometimes and pursue my dancing career other times.
Before we knew it, Lauren was in kindergarten and River was toddling around everywhere. The two of them loved playing at the activity table we bought for them...Lauren favored the blocks, while River loved to color from the moment she could hold a crayon. I could have watched them for hours. I have five sisters myself, and I get along well with all of them, but other than the twins we're all so far apart in age we never experienced this sort of thing. I'm glad my daughters get to experience it.

Jihoon and I hadn't been doing anything to prevent it, but it still took more than four years before I got pregnant again. I was just a few weeks shy of 38 when River was born, so maybe that had something to do with mom has told me that she struggled to get pregnant after Mal was born, and she was just shy of 38 then too. Funny how that happens sometimes.
When I was about 6 months along, our house was broken into! The thief got away, but at least the cop scared him off before he could take anything. And we all slept through the whole thing...I'm glad, too! It was terrifying enough to have a cop wake me up to tell me that there had been a burglar in my house!

Jihoon and I made sure to spend plenty of time with the girls during my pregnancy. They had just turned 8 and 5 respectively, old enough to worry about being displaced by a younger sibling. We made sure to reassure them that we would still have time for them afterwards.

River is in the green dress and Lauren is in the blue.
What we didn't know at the time was that I was carrying twins! It somehow went undetected right up until delivery. I gave birth to my son and thought I was done, but then contractions started up again and next thing I knew I had a boy and a girl. The twins were born on June 1, 2045. We named them Elijah Reed and Tamara Quinn. (Elijah is an oblique tribute to my grandfather, Elwood, and Reed is derived from my maiden name. Tamara is just a name we liked, while Quinn is after my great-uncle Quinton, who was like another grandfather to me.)

Elijah is the one on the floor (poor thing); Tamara is in Fran's arms.

Even though our lives were consumed with taking care of the babies, Lauren and River seemed to adjust well to being big sisters. They could play together at that activity table for hours without needing any kind of adult intervention.

Again, River in the green dress and Lauren in the blue dress.
My family came over a lot as well to help out with the babies. Maggie looks really excited to be an aunt, doesn't she? Malcolm doesn't look so excited to be a step-grandpa, but he's actually great with the kids.
Here's another picture of Maggie and Elijah.
And here's one of Mom with Tamara. She just loves being a grandmother and will drop by all the time just to visit. I think she likes it because she can go home and get a full night's rest afterwards. *grin*

Marion was there too, but she spent the entire time on the ballet barre.
At one point we invited the headmaster of the private school over in the hopes of getting Lauren and River admitted. Unfortunately, things were just too chaotic with the twins and a nanny and my family and all, so they didn't get admitted. Jihoon made sure to pay extra attention to me afterwards so I didn't get depressed. It was a little discouraging, but in our defense we had been blindsided by twins in between when we made the appointment and when the headmaster arrived. Things were just a little out of control.

Jihoon also looks slightly drunk. I bet that wouldn't help get one's kids into private school. 

Despite all the chaos, I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world.

House pictures! The downstairs is still very unfinished, because they don't have a lot of money.
The upstairs is much closer to being finished...there's a master bath, a nursery, a room for the older girls, a hobby room over the garage, and three bathrooms.
I still love the outside of this house. I think it's one of my best houses.

Several notes:

1. I didn't start noticing "bolts" of attraction between Sims until recently, thanks to reading about it on other Sim blogs. Jihoon and Francine would be doomed in most neighborhoods because they have ZERO bolts. Yet they're an absolutely adorable couple. Whenever I slip in Ruling With An Iron Fist (my preferred play style) Jihoon will immediately go and give Fran a tender kiss. Seriously, it's pretty much the only autonomous action he ever does.

(Relatedly, Jihoon has two bolts for Elise Kules and Fran has two bolts for Darius Kules. Too bad; I'm not doing a Sim version of Wife Swap.)

2. In Sims 3 I think Jihoon would have the Loser trait, poor dear. He seriously takes FOREVER to get skills and friends. It could just be that he seems simpleminded because he's surrounded by Knowledge Sims, though. (His wife is Knowledge, obviously. Then two of his four siblings and both of his sisters-in-law are also Knowledge.) But seriously. FOR-EV-ER.

3. I didn't know until I played this house that the cop could lose a fight with the burglar. At least nothing got stolen and nobody seems to really care, unlike Jihoon's sisters, who were furious for ages and ages after Whitfill Ranch got broken into while they lived there.

4. You might notice that in that picture at the table they're all eating berry pie, NOT cheesecake. The twins totally blindsided me too. Especially since I got a bit of a glitch when they were born...Elijah was born as normal and I got a dialog box prompting me to name him, which I did. Then Francine dropped him on the floor and wouldn't pick him up. I was worried I had a glitchy baby until suddenly Francine clutched her abdomen and spun around AGAIN. Tamara appeared and I got another completely separate dialog box prompting me to name her.

I'm through Week Six in this house (as you might be able to tell) and haven't had any more glitchiness from the twins, so I'm starting to breathe a bit easier.

5. I can't remember if the Landgraab family visit in this post was by invitation or not (I think it was), but Beata really does drop by uninvited all the time. (She also does it with her daughter Joan, but not Edith or Millie so far. Weird.)

6. I invited the headmaster before the twins were born, figuring it wouldn't be too hard to handle one baby and a headmaster visit. (Ha ha ha.) The twins were born Sunday morning or perhaps early afternoon. Fran went to work that afternoon for some reason. Probably she was promotable and I sent her because they desperately needed the money, but I don't remember now. Anyway, she had a want to get River into private school and a fear of her being rejected. She got back right before the headmaster left and I could tell the visit wasn't going to pan out, so I had Jihoon ask her on a date so that her fears rerolled. I'm a chicken. (Also, that date ended up being just Great, not Dream, which means it did nothing to advance Jihoon's lifetime want. It was not a banner day in Lothlorien.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week Five Part Eight: Paradisio

Donte Whitfill, 31 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. Lifetime Want: Become Education Minister. Astrological sign: Aquarius.
Gretchen Dejackome, 24 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. Lifetime Want: Become Criminal Mastermind. Astrological sign: Aries

Donte's family tree. He is the second (adopted) son of founder Larita Whitfill. The Whitfill family is slowly growing from its humble beginnings. 

Gretchen's family tree. She is the oldest (adopted) daughter of founder Rivka Dejackome. The Dejackome clan is currently the smallest in the neighborhood. (Jeannie is engaged to her college sweetheart, Timothy Seifert; they will star in Week Five Part Ten.)

Immediately after graduating college, Gretchen Dejackome followed the example of her housemate, Millie Landgraab, and cohabitated with a Whitfill boy instead of moving back home.
They held the wedding the following winter. Since the weather was poor they set up an arch in the living room; fortunately there was just enough room for all the guests.

After the ceremony they cut the cake.
Then they cleared away the chairs and had some dancing.
Then it was time for their honeymoon. They decided to go to the Far East instead of having a tropical honeymoon like Blake and Millie.

Once they returned they quickly settled back into their studies.

(Note to my fellow simmers: A Knowledge/Knowledge pairing creates possibly the most boring marriage ever. Also, please note that the last picture is Donte's official "max all skills" pic. Yeah, I was triple-speeding and missed the memory icon, so you get a thought-bubble.)

After a couple of years Gretchen found out she was pregnant, so she occupied herself for 6 months with learning all of Donte's recipes and tinkering instead of working for Malcolm Landgraab's...imports business.

Meanwhile, Donte was appointed Education Minister. He enjoyed the work, but soon decided that it was time to try something new and took a position as an architect. Gretchen didn't mind his career-hopping, since he made handsome salaries no matter where he worked. 

(LTW #1 and TOC #2 for Donte. New LTW: Become City Planner. I let him go for it even though I only get points for 1 LTW and 2 TOCs)
Their daughter, Emerson, was born a few days before Christmas, almost exactly 3 years after her parents' wedding.

Gretchen was able to go right back to work and soon was as high in the business as Malcolm Landgraab himself. 

(I think it's funny that the Criminal Mastermind is queasy.)
She and Donte decided that there wasn't any reason they shouldn't try for a second child as soon as possible. Emerson wasn't yet 2 when Gretchen found out she was pregnant again, due in the springtime. 

(Emerson and her sibling are 3 days apart, which means 3 calendar years, but thanks to Random.Org and December birthdays I sometimes get 2-year gaps.)
Random cute: Emmy is a tiny female version of her father, and they love each other.
Despite all the busyness of careers and family, Gretchen and Donte still found time to spend together. And Donte still remembered that salmon was her favorite.

Donte: "That outfit looks lovely on you, darling!"

(I was so irritated that Gretchen didn't get pregnant in time to have her second baby by the end of the round. She gave birth first thing in Week Six. You'll have to wait until then to see the baby.)

House shots time! 

Donte and Gretchen did a major renovation of his bachelor pad once they got back from their honeymoon. The downstairs is very bare because they couldn't afford furniture after putting in the pool and everything.
The upstairs is a little better. There's room for 4 bedrooms and 4 baths; right now there's a master suite (with balcony access), a nursery with a potty chair in the attached bathroom, an office, an empty bedroom, and two empty bathrooms.
And here's the exterior. I was going for a bit of an Unhappy Hipsters vibe.
This is what I think of as the Wall of Awesome. So far it has Donte's Tinkering plaque and Donte and Gretchen's college diplomas. Eventually I aspire to have all the possible hobby plaques (I think there are 10) and there will probably also be many college diplomas belonging to future generations of Whitfills.

And this is just a detail shot that I love. The bouquet is from Donte and Gretchen's first date; the souvenirs are from their honeymoon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week Five Part Seven: Riedmayer-Todd Estate

Edith Riedmayer, 47 years old. Aspiration: Pleasure. (Changed in college from Fortune.) LTW: Have 50 Dream Dates. Astrological sign: Capricorn.
Corbin Todd, 40 years old. Aspiration: Romance. LTW: Become Professional Party Guest. Astrological sign: Libra.
Ingrid Riedmayer, 10 years old. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Todd Riedmayer, 5 years old. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Frederick "Fritz" Riedmayer, 1 year old.

Edith is another of Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab's daughters. Corbin was a Young Adult townie.

Hey, it's me, Todd. Yeah, I'm hot stuff, aren't I? Anyway, Ingy is off at college, so I'm sure she won't mind if I narrate the next part of our story.

I guess I should say something about myself, right? My name is Todd Riedmayer, I'm 19 years old, if you want to date me just give me a call. I'll be at Sim State soon, so hooray! There will finally be girls who aren't A) my cousins or B) dating my cousins. (Damn that Gabe. ... What? ... Okay, fine, I won't talk about that.)

I guess when Ingy left off, she was like 10 or 11, I was starting school, Fritz was just a little squirt, and Mom was pregnant again. And Dad was having a little fun on the side, unbeknownst to Mom.

Well, she found out. Found him in the garage in his sports car doin' the deed with this chick named Audrey. Mom went totally postal on him, too. Told him to get out, that she never wanted to see him again.
So Dad moved out. He ended up shacking up with Audrey, but I guess I'm supposed to tell you what happened to us after he left.
We all got older, blah blah blah. Ingy was a teenager before too long and she decided to go Goth. I think she actually looks pretty good with the black and stuff. I know she's my sister, don't go getting any weird ideas. A guy can be proud of his sister's good looks. I mean, she's gotta be good looking. She's related to ME. (Although, come to think of it, Gabe's related to me and he looks like his face went through a meat grinder.)

Ingrid Riedmayer, daughter of Edith Riedmayer and Corbin Todd. S4 skin, brown hair (dyed black), brown eyes. Aspiration: Fortune. Lifetime want: Become Chief of Staff.

Oh, and I got another brother. Charles. He looks just like the rest of us. And babies are boring. Moving on.

Random picture: Edith was doing the "cuisine enthusiasm" animation and thinking about Charles at the same time. Om nom nom nom babies...
Ingy is big into earning money and stuff, so she started trying to give makeovers, figuring that if she got good she could make some extra cash that way. She practiced on me because, well, because I was there. And I did whatever she told me to do. She was my cool big sister, okay?

Some of those makeovers didn't turn out too good. And don't judge the pink pjs, okay? We were dirt poor. We were practically eating dirt. Mom couldn't buy any new pajamas.

(I found it was actually better to practice makeovers on male victims because it's easier to reset makeup to nothing than to find whatever lipstick and eyeshadow the woman or teenage girl had been wearing before.)
Soon Fritz was starting kindergarten.
Ingy helped him get the hang of homework, since Mom was busy with work and stuff.

About 3 or 4 years after she kicked Dad to the curb, Mom decided it was time to start dating again, have a little fun. So she called up this guy Thomas. I guess they knew each other in college. Anyway, they went out on a date and next thing I know Mom is announcing that she married the guy. That seems a little crazy. One time she's engaged to a guy for 15 years and doesn't marry him, and the next guy she elopes on the first date.

Thomas Dai, former college townie.
S3 skin, red hair, green eyes.
Aspiration: Popularity.
Lifetime Want: Become Media Magnate.
Astrological sign: Leo.

Thomas appears in the first picture in this post; if memory serves he was actually the first friend Edith made at Sim State.
Thomas is pretty cool, though. He let Ingy give him a haircut. She actually make him look pretty good.

Another odd pic out.
Fritz: "So did you do the woohoo with my mother?"
Thomas: "Uhhh..."
I started high school not too long after that. I really wanted to date a bunch of girls, see what was out there, but living in this backwater that didn't work out too well. Especially not with how poor we were for a while there.

Ingy is always getting on me for talking about dating all sorts of girls, says I'm no better than Dad. But A) Dad isn't so bad, really. I mean, there's two sides to everything, right? and B) I'm not planning on having 4 kids with a girl and then cheating on her. I mean, nobody but Mom gets married on the first date. So if I date a girl one or two times, she can't go all possessive if I move on and date someone else. I can't break promises if I'm careful not to make them, right?

Todd Riedmayer, son of Edith Riedmayer and Corbin Todd. S3 skin, brown hair, brown eyes. Aspiration: Pleasure. Lifetime want: 50 1st Dates.

Oh, and Charles started school, yadda yadda. He was an annoying little ankle-biter back then, he's cooler now.

Like I've mentioned, we were WAY poor back then, so Mom and Thomas and Ingy were all working hard on getting promotions at their jobs so we could keep putting food on the table. I got a job too, as a waterboy for the Llamas. Athletes get lots of girls, right?

All right, time to go. Thomas says I gotta study if I want to get good scholarships for Sim State. And I do. After all...GIRLS.
The house at the end of the week. I'm honestly not sure why the Riedmayer-Todd-Dai family is so poor, but as you can see their house is very sparse. It's only just started advancing beyond the basic three-room shack model.
The outside is similarly austere.

I very much had to orchestrate the breakup between Edith and Corbin. I guess she really wanted him around even though he was a cheater. I had to send her out to the garage before she even noticed what he was up to, and then she didn't fight with him or roll wants to break up or anything interesting. But I wanted a little complication, so I told her to break up with him and then moved him out.

Edith's marriage to Thomas was definitely not planned. Once the kids got a little older and things settled down, I decided she needed to start working on that 50 Dream Dates lifetime want again. (Ugh. I think her original LTW, 5 Top-Level Businesses, would have been easier.) So I looked through her relationship panel and she happened to somehow still be best friends with a guy from the Secret Society. She called him, they went out, they hit it off splendidly, there was photobooth woohoo and Mrs. Crumplebottom beatings and all that fun stuff. So I thought, "Why not?" and got them married so she'd have somebody steady around for Dream Dates 30 through 50. I like Thomas a lot now, but you'll have to wait to get to know him until the next update.