Friday, November 23, 2012

Week Six Part Four: Whitfill Ranch

Blake Whitfill: 39 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. (Formerly Romance.) LTW: Become Rock God. (Fulfilled: Become Celebrity Chef.) Astrological sign: Aries.
Mildred "Millie" (Landgraab) Whitfill: 34 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. LTW: Become Hand of Poseidon. (Fulfilled: Become Education Minister.) Astrological sign: Gemini.
Landon Whitfill: 3 years old. Astrological sign: Libra.
Virginia "Ginny" Whitfill: 3 years old. Astrological sign: Aries.

The Whitfill Family. Blake is the eldest and thus the Generation 2 heir of the Whitfill family. He has two brothers who are happily married and two sisters who are happily single. This is the same picture used in Rishell and Veronica's update. They changed their shirts since then, but that wasn't worth making a new family tree thing. 

The Riedmayer-Landgraab Family. Through her mother, Millie is related to the Riedmayers of Riedmayer Cove (who featured in the last update), but I confined the tree to her more immediate family to make it more legible. Millie has five sisters and one brother; her older sisters have provided her with six nieces and eight nephews so far. She shares three of those nieces and one nephew with Blake, since her sister is married to his brother.


Narrated by Blake Whitfill

Hey, Blake here. I guess I'm supposed to tell you about raising the twins? Okay.

To start off, let me just say there was a time in my life when I didn't want to do the whole marriage and family thing. I had a lovely mother once, but I never had a father, and I guess a part of me was terrified of messing it up with no examples to follow.

Let me tell you, though, the first time my son looked me in the eye and called me "Daddy", every doubt melted away and I knew I was always meant to do this.

Side note: When I opened this lot, both toddlers were in rock-bottom red aspiration. My best guess is that they had a "Relative breaks up" fear that was fulfilled when their aunt Edith broke off her engagement to Corbin Todd. Fortunately, neither of them had any toddler skills, so Blake did some marathon training sessions and got them in platinum pretty quickly.

At the time, I was working as a celebrity chef. It was good work; I was out of the house a few evenings a week but other than that I could be home with the kids. Meanwhile my wife, Millie, was working early days as an oceanographer--she'd leave long before it was light out and get home in the early afternoons, so we had some family time before I'd have to go off to the restaurant.

Next things we knew, it was time for the twins to go to school. It was so interesting to see them grow up and notice how they looked like their parents. Landon is my spitting image, except something about the shape of his eyes reminds me of his mother.

(In game, Landon seems to have the round Riedmayer eyes rather than his father's narrower eyes. In this picture he just looks like a mini-Blake, though.)

Ginny looks more like her mother at first glance, with her lighter complexion and blond hair (though she has my brown eyes, just like her brother), but she seems to have gotten all of her facial features from me. I'm a handsome fellow, if I do say so myself, so probably she'll end up a pretty woman. Oh, Millie is reading over my shoulder and says it doesn't matter if she's pretty as long as she turns out intelligent and good. Sure, sure. But I bet she's going to be pretty too.

(I worry about Ginny's looks myself, but I didn't figure Blake would share that worry. :))

Anyway, it was really important to Millie that the twins go to her alma mater, Bluewater Academy. It's this swanky private school, with uniforms and everything. I always just went to public school and I turned out okay, but what Millie wants, Millie gets. I just sign the checks.

Millie gave the headmaster a tour of our house--we had some landscaping done just for him--and I cooked my speciality, lobster thermidor. Naturally, the headmaster couldn't say no to our kids and they got admitted easily.

Of course, we made sure to sit the twins down every afternoon and go over their homework. No sense wasting that fancy private education by slacking off.

Sure enough, soon they were bringing home nothing but A+ report cards.

Shortly after the twins started school, I gave up my cooking show in favor of my other hobby, music. It was nice to be able to pursue my dream, but even nicer to come home

(Recall that last round Blake maxed his enthusiasm in music and dance. By sheer coincidence, his second LTW was "Become Rock God.")

Millie was able to stay home with the kids while I was touring because she was the head of the National Oceanographers Association and hardly had to go into work. (Her coworkers jokingly called her The Hand of Poseidon. She's pretty brilliant at what she does.)

(TOC and LTW #2 for Millie. I think her new LTW is to become a City Planner.)
While I was away, Millie and the twins apparently spent their evenings sitting around studying quietly. I guess the twins got good looks from me and brains from their mom. 

They also worked on their extracurriculars--Landon was in the chess club (Imagine! My son in the chess club.) and Ginny played violin with the school orchestra.

Millie also taught the kids how to cook--now that's a manly occupation for my son! He'll be a celebrity chef someday, I bet, just like his dad!

In between school terms and my band's tours, we had relatives over all the time. We wanted to make sure the twins got to know their cousins and all that, plus Millie and I both like spending time with our siblings. We definitely had a full house, since I'm the oldest of five children and Millie is the middle of seven. (As much as I love my siblings and my kids, I'm kind of glad Millie and I stopped at just two. Five or seven or whatever would have been just a little crazy.)

Playing the bingo game: Marion Landgraab, Greg Pons, Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab, Malcolm Landgraab IV, Blake. At the mahjong table: Rishell Whitfill, Edward Pons, Theresa Dejackome, Landon. At the Don't Wake The Llama table: Fritz Riedmayer, Maggie Landgraab, Lauren Whitfill, Ginny.

Having hula lessons: Gabe Pons, Millie, Seth Pons, Charles Riedmayer, Edith Riedmayer, Joan Pons, Malcolm Landgraab V, Jeannie Pons.

These pics are actually from "Family Sunday." I got this idea from Jungfrun68 over at Mattsmyra. 

Oh, one more thing I almost forgot! Earlier this year, Millie got a perfect score on the SKILL test. She worked really hard on that and we're all super proud of her.

(Yay for Impossible Wants!)

I guess that's all for now, but the twins will be teenagers in just a couple of years and then there's sure to be something else to write about!

Here's the house at the end of the week. Blake and Millie have reclaimed the ground floor suite, but other than that not much has changed.

Incidentally, when I built this house I based it loosely off a Maxis house I had played once. I was puttering around in a different neighborhood and decided to check out that house just for fun and realized I had reproduced the first floor almost exactly. So, credits: Whitfill Ranch, copied from the Cape Cod Classic by Maxis. 

Here's the second floor. Landon and Ginny share a room for the time being, with screens around their beds for privacy. (Not that Sims care.) Maybe next time I visit them I will build a garage for the candy machine and treadmill and whatnot so that third bedroom will be usable instead of being a dumping ground for random stuff.

Here's the whole lot. Yes, I think a garage will fit in very nicely on the left side there. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week Six Part Three: Riedmayer Cove

Jill Smith: 53 years old. Aspiration: Romance. Lifetime want: Have 20 Simultaneous Lovers. Astrological sign: Libra.
Johnson Simpson: 50 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. Lifetime want: Become Chief of Staff. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Agatha Riedmayer: 26 years old. Aspiration: Romance. Lifetime want: Woohoo 20 Different Sims. Astrological sign: Sagittarius.
Gretchen Riedmayer: 23 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. Lifetime want: Become Space Pirate. Astrological sign: Aries.
Jacqueline Riedmayer: 23 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. Lifetime want: Become The Law. Astrological sign: Aquarius.

Agatha moved back here after college, not having any other plans. The only person missing compared to last week's portrait is Annie, whom we just visited at Dejackome Place. 

The family tree. Johnson had two daughters, Annie and Gretchen, with his late partner, Quinton Riedmayer. Jill had two daughters, Agatha and Jacqueline, with her late husband, Elwood Riedmayer. Elwood also had a daughter from his first marriage, Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab, who now has 7 children and about 16 grandchildren. (Grandchildren not pictured for the sake of space.)

"A New Generation"
narrated by Jill Smith

I suppose you know my whole backstory already, right? Great, let's cut to the chase. My soaps are on soon. Yeah, who'd have thought 30 years ago that Jill Smith would marry some old guy and then end up raising four kids with a gay man and then turn into a grandmother who watches soaps? Not me.

Where was I? Well, I'll start when Gretchen and Jackie left for college. They were getting near the maximum age for admittance, but they wanted to stay home and get as many AP credits as possible before they started on their higher education. They both ended up getting 5 scholarships. Gretchen got hers for good grades, good performance in her after school job, cooking skill, charisma skill, and logic skill.

Jacqueline got all the same except creativity skill instead of cooking skill. That girl looks just like me but she takes after Johnson, work work work all the time. (Come to think of it, her father was like that too, though he'd slowed down a lot by the time we married.) She'd be a real pretty girl if she took some care for her appearance.

Agatha, my other daughter, is the opposite. She looks like her father's side of the family but has a lot more of my personality. She's got an interesting face shape, but she knows how to cut her hair and dress to flatter her unique looks. She moved back here after college, since she didn't have any other plans and we have plenty of room in this drafty old mansion.

The three of us just kind of led parallel lives for a few years, working and socializing and doing whatever. Then one day we all sort of decided at once to go on vacation. We'd been working hard enough and had a good bit put away for a rainy day; why not splurge? So we left early one morning and flew to Twikii Island.

We saw all the usual sights. Agatha did her own kind of sightseeing besides. She seemed to hit it off with one of the natives. That grass skirt look doesn't do it for me, but she's entitled to her own opinion, I suppose.

I had the room next to her in the hotel, so I heard some things at night and when I'd go over to see her in the morning she'd be barely dressed. Maybe she was just sleeping like that to stay cool in the tropical heat, but I have a feeling there was more to it than that. I kind of subtly told her stories about how when I fell in love I let myself get swept off my feet and next thing I knew I was a widow with two tiny kids. I don't know if my little lecture got through to her at all. She's a grown woman and can make her own choices, but I just know she's not the type to want to be tied down for long.

That native fellow was standing around watching us when the taxi came to take us back to the airport. He looked kind of sad, seeing Agatha pick up her suitcase and walk away from him without a backward glance.

Well, it wasn't three months later that Agatha came to me and told me she was pregnant. I told her I'd support whatever choice she made, and she decided to keep it and raise it. I worry a little that she thinks that being a single mother is easy just because I did it with two, but I had lots of help and it was still the hardest thing I'd ever done, caring for her and Jacqueline when they were little.

Anyway, soon the whole family knew and accepted Agatha's baby wholeheartedly. I think Annie was the most excited; she was just three months farther along with her first child. (Ed. note: Pictured is actually Annie's second pregnancy, but pretend it's her pregnant with Rivka.) She and Agatha swapped stories about morning sickness and whatever else all the time.

Other days, though, you'd think Agatha didn't even know she was pregnant. She spent a lot of time out on the exercise equipment, trying to keep her figure. I worried sometimes she was going to overdo it and hurt herself, not to mention the baby. I am turning into a bit of a worrier now that I'm old, I guess.

One day a few weeks before the baby was due she and I were sitting down at the old chess table just talking about this and that, and I found myself asking if that native guy she'd been so taken with was the father. She said yes, but that she wasn't going to tell him about the baby because he was one of those family-oriented types who'd want to get married right off and make an "honest woman" out of her. But they wanted such different things out of life that she knew they'd be miserable married to each other.

One rainy day in January, Agatha felt her first labor pains right there at the chess table. I tried to help her as much as I could, but I don't know how much help I really was. Johnson ended up being a lot more useful, I'll wager, but then again he was working as a surgeon at Sim City General at the time, so he had at least a little relevant experience. I just birthed two babies, and I kind of tried to block out those memories.

Fortunately, Agatha didn't have too much trouble and before we knew it she was holding her son. Andrew Kimbrell Riedmayer, born January 14, 2051. He's mostly got Agatha's coloring, but then again his father had about the same coloring, that I recall. His eyes are dark blue instead of gray like Agatha's; I guess he got those from his father for sure.

 We all pitched in with the baby, feeding him, changing him, getting up with him when he cried in the night. Well, Johnson and I handled most of those night wake-ups. Agatha was working nights as some kind of phone psychic or something so she could be home with Andrew during the day when Johnson and I were at work. It wasn't so bad; now that I'm old I'm up half the night anyway.

Between the three of us, we actually managed to get everything done with a little time left over. One day I saw Johnson out on the front lawn with Korey, the guy who's the headmaster of the private school our girls attended.

Later on they took it to the bedroom. I never bothered to tell Johnson that I'd gotten some action with Korey years ago; it was a one-time fling and Johnson deserves to be happy. I don't think he's been with anyone since Quinton died all those years ago.

I had my lovers too during that time, but a lady never kisses and tells. *smile*

Andrew grew like a weed, as babies do. He's three years old now. I think he looks a lot like his mother did at that age, but maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see. Haven't got anything against his father, but from what I saw he was no looker, not compared to my Agatha.

Blast from the past: Agatha just before she grew up to child. Neither picture is good enough for you to really tell, but I like to imagine that Andrew has his mother's pointy nose at least. I will have to check when I next play this house.

Well, I guess I've got you all caught up, and just in time to watch The Pleasant Twins. I just love watching those girls slap each other silly. You can show yourself out, right? Mind you don't trip going down all those stairs.

Also during this week:

Johnson reached his LTW and TOC #1 just in the nick of time. His new LTW is to become a Business Tycoon, but there were no business jobs on the computer so he took a job as a Theorist in the Science track instead. 

Later on in the week, Agatha topped the paranormal track and immediately switched to being a Broadway Star in the Show Business track. Her LTW isn't career related, though, so she's a very unhappy Romance Sim at the moment, having only 2 of her desired 20 woohoo partners. Since she did her duty and produced a Riedmayer heir, she will get to focus more on her wants this coming round.
Jill is still putzing her way up the Law Enforcement career track. Meanwhile, she's up to 14 (of 20) lovers, but this screenshot from the beginning of the week is meant to highlight one of her lovers in particular.

I was surprised when I discovered this (having apparently not paid enough attention to Audrey's relationship panel after she moved in with Corbin), but it ended up providing an interesting twist to the story.

At one point Andrew got glitched--none of the adults could interact with him--which was particularly terrifying given that he's such an important baby. I minimized the game and did some frantic googling and then with fear and trepidation deleted him (using move_objects) and then reloaded the lot. He was happily lying on the ground next to the mailbox, and I sent Jill to fetch him. She could interact with him just fine, but then she had quite a time getting him back up to the's a long walk and the ghosts scared her half a dozen times on the way. Poor Andrew.

Not much has changed in the house since Week 5. The DJ booth on the porch is a gift from one of Jill's lovers.

Johnson has the large red room to himself, while Jill and Agatha share the smaller pink room and Andrew sleeps in the hallway. I think I am going to majorly renovate this floor when I next play this house.

The attic now has musical instruments (bought to keep aspirations up, no doubt) and a Grim Reaper Phone in addition to Elwood and Jill's old bed. 

The greenhouse is finished and half of it has been turned into an indoor pool. There might be actual plants at some point, but then again maybe not.