Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week Six Part Seven: Riedmayer-Todd Estate

Edith Riedmayer: 54 years old. Aspiration: Pleasure (formerly Fortune). LTW: Have 50 Dream Dates. Astrological sign: Capricorn.
Thomas Dai: 44 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. LTW: Become Media Magnate. Astrological sign: Leo.
Ingrid Riedmayer: 17 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. LTW: Become Chief of Staff. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Todd Riedmayer: 12 years old. Aspiration: Pleasure. LTW: Have 50 1st Dates. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Frederick "Fritz" Riedmayer: 8 years old. Astrological sign: Capricorn.
Charles Riedmayer: 5 years old. Astrological sign: Capricorn.

I am not going to post Edith's family tree because we just visited her twin sister, Joan. Note, though, that Edith's children were not fathered by her current husband.

"Ever after"

narrated by Edith Riedmayer

Hey there. I was just reading the last two updates submitted by my kids, and you know what I noticed? They spent the whole time talking about their father. Especially Ingrid. Complain, complain, complain. You'd think I didn't give them a good life, seeing as you hear nothing about what they actually do--did--here at home.

As much as I'd like to correct the historical record, I suppose I should start where Todd left off.

Ingrid went off to college when she was 17. She only had two scholarships--for good grades and cooking skill--but I think she was eager to be off on her own. She didn't even bother getting dressed, just ran right out the second the taxi showed up. Strange girl.

Thomas had just lost his job for some stupid reason (chance card), so things were tight for a little while. Still, we had money for little fun things like pizza. Come to think of it, nobody in this family really knows how to cook, so maybe pizza is more of a necessity

Thomas is absolutely great with the boys. He's nice to Ingrid, too, but she was already a bitter teenager by the time he came into our lives. Anyway, Thomas pays way more attention to the kids than Corbin ever did. He helped Charlie with his homework almost every night until Charlie got the hang of it.

He helped Todd earn some scholarships for college, too. I'm not sure how playing putt-putt on the front lawn helps, but Thomas said that it would.

Thomas paid plenty of attention to me, too, though sometimes our little escapades got us into trouble. *grin*

I must admit, said escapades did get a little embarassing when my mother showed up and started acting all disapproving.

(That really happened. It was the funniest thing ever.)

Also, I am not impressed by the flavor text for 50 Dream Dates. It's like they didn't think anyone would actually get there. Oh well. LTW #1 and IW for Edith! Her new LTW is to become a Professional Party Guest, and she managed to snag a Slacker position right before aging up, so we'll see how that goes.

I think all that attention from Thomas must have put me in a good mood, because I became "Head of SCIA" at work. I think my sister-in-law already explained to you that that's a figurehead sort of position, but it's still a pretty big honor.

The older kids seem to partially blame me for what 
happened with their father, which is just ridiculous, but the little boys don't know anything but this happy life with Thomas. Charlie is especially devoted to me and always runs up to give me a hug when I get back from work.

The boys all get along with each other, fortunately. Todd seems to think it's his job to give them an example of what a man should be like, which seems kind of unnecessary with Thomas around, but at least it's sweet how he plays with them and takes care of them without being asked.

Before I knew it, my little Fritz was not so little anymore. He's a good kid. He says he wants to have a big family and be a teacher, so he can positively influence as many children as possible. Personally, I think four kids are more than enough to be influencing in one lifetime, but my sister Joan seems to do pretty well with her seven. Some people are just the kid type, and maybe Fritz is one of them.

Frederick Riedmayer: Family, Become Education Minister

Around that time, we came by an unexpected financial windfall, which enabled us to finally get the house finished so we weren't all packed into one bedroom together. We ended up with four bedrooms altogether, but the boys said they wouldn't know what to do with their own rooms so we stuck them all together in the biggest one. Thomas and I got our own room, at least, which meant we didn't have to avail ourselves of the photo booths downtown quite so often...

Since we were so much better off, we decided to try to get the boys into private school. The headmaster was suitably impressed with our family and our renovated house, so all three boys got in.

Charles officially turned 12 earlier this year (even though really his birthday isn't until September), so now he's off at high school with the other boys. Todd will be at college in the fall, though, so I guess they're not really all together. Charles seems to take after his father a bit, wanting to go out and meet as many girls as possible. Maybe it'd be better if he remembered what it was like to have your parents break up because one of them is cheating...

Charles Riedmayer, Romance, Become Hall of Famer.
Thomas reminds me that I had a milestone birthday this year too. I legally turned 61, which means I'm old enough to retire, though I probably won't. I already took early retirement from the SCIA and now I'm taking it easy working as a clerk at a music store. I figure after everything I've been through the last 20 years or so, I deserve to take it easy from here on out.

Here's the house at the end of the week. The downstairs is very lavishly furnished, mostly so the headmaster would be impressed.

The upstairs is much plainer. I don't know how much I'll bother furnishing it, since the boys will be leaving for college very shortly. Fritz will probably come back to take care of the old ones after he graduates--it just seems logical since he's the most family-oriented.

And here's the outside. The house is meant to be the mirror image of the house my parents live in. (Putting the driveway on the right is hard in Sims because of how many tiles you need.) I couldn't get the proportions quite right on the inside, but the outside looks very true to life.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Week Six Part Six: Bridgeview

Greg Pons: 54 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. LTW: Become General. Astrological sign: Aries.
Joan Pons: 54 years old. Aspiration: Family. LTW: Marry Off 6 Children. Astrological sign: Leo.
Sarah Pons: 17 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. LTW: Become the Law. Astrological sign: Aries.
Joseph Pons: 14 years old. Aspiration: Romance. LTW: Have 20 Simultaneous Lovers. Astrological sign: Aries.
Seth Pons: 10 years old. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Jeannie Pons: 8 years old. Astrological sign: Aries.
Gabriel Pons: 7 years old. Astrological sign: Aries.
Edward Pons: 7 years old. Astrological sign: Aquarius.

Here is Joan's family tree. Joan's mother, Beata, is the most prolific Sim in Prosperity Plains, with 7 children and 19 grandchildren. She is not even a Family Sim, but Popularity. Joan is a Family Sim, so she is likely to surpass her mother someday.

Greg is a former townie teen, so he has no family save his wife and children. 

Narrated by Joan Pons

Hello! You want updates on me and all my kids? Well, my eldest daughter, Sarah, flew the coop a while back. I made sure to give her some Tupperware containers of frozen chicken soup--told her she could thaw one out if she ever had a cold or the flu and it'd make her feel better right away. I think she was a little skeptical, but she took it to please her old mother.

Sarah's always been such a good girl and never once complained about having to help out with all her younger siblings, but I could tell that she was really excited to strike out on her own. She got four scholarships--for good grades, good job performance, high mechanical skill, and high creativity skill. Greg and I were--are--very proud of her.

I missed her something awful, but at least I could reassure myself with the thought that the younger kids wouldn't be leaving me for quite a while. I still had four in elementary school at that point. They would bring home their cousins from school all the time, plus that little girl from across town, Priscilla. One time I caught Joe rocking out on the guitar so all the little kids could dance along. It was pretty adorable, but don't tell Joe that. He was in high school by then and thought he was way too cool for little kid games. 

From left: Joe, Seth, Jeannie, Charles Riedmayer (cousin), River Whitfill (cousin), Priscilla Kules (neighbor), Edward.

Once we saw Sarah off, we decided it was high time to call up the headmaster and get the little kids into private school. Joe and Seth had gotten in before, but things had been too busy for us to get the other three in. They got in pretty easy, though. The headmaster remembered us from before and knew we were a fine, upstanding family.

Academics at the private school were a bit more rigorous than at the public school, so Greg and I had to spend the evenings helping the kids with their homework until they got settled into the new routine. They caught on pretty quick, all three of them. I have some clever kids.

Jeannie already knew how to study and was just doing her homework, but doesn't it look like Joan is tutoring two kids at once?

Round about that time I was doing really well professionally--I published my third novel and it sold really well; my work in the art world got me hailed as a visionary--that sort of thing. Greg and I used the extra income to expand our house, since it was starting to feel a little cramped with our kids getting bigger by the day. We added a second floor with four bedrooms and bathrooms. We told Seth and Joe that they could split up and have their own rooms, but they wouldn't hear of it. (They're the oldest, so we figured we'd give them priority.) Gabe and Edward didn't want to split either, so we made the fourth room into a playroom. 

Downstairs, we knocked out a couple of bedrooms so we could have more room in the kitchen and living room. The old nursery, next to the master bedroom, got turned into an office, so I could stay up late working on novels without bothering Greg.

The renovations were actually paid for by a chance card...something about whether Joan should take a job painting for an organized crime boss. I figured that since her stepfather is leading Criminal Mastermind in Prosperity Plains, she's probably personal friends with this crime boss and would happily paint his house for him. My guess paid off big for the Pons family.

Joan's TOC bonus didn't hurt, though.

(TOC #1 for Joan.)

I switched from art to journalism after I became a visionary--writing has always been my passion more than the visual arts. The hours were good too; Greg and I didn't have to hire a nanny at all. Greg leaves for the base real early in the morning and gets home around the time the kids get home from school--the teens are alone for maybe an hour, but that's not a big deal. I do morning duty--getting the kids on the bus and such--and then have a few hours to myself for novel-writing before I have to head off to spend the afternoon and early evening at work. Then the teens all have after-school jobs, so we don't sit down and have family time until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. We let the kids stay up later than they should, probably, but Greg says they all take naps after school regularly, so I figure they're okay. 

I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Around the same time we extended the house, Seth turned 12 and headed off to high school with Joe. He talked about being a chef like his uncle Blake (Blake Whitfill, married to Joan's sister Millie), which is a fine ambition, but I worry about him sometimes. He and Joe are always talking about all the girls they're going to date once they head off to college and meet some that aren't their cousins. I'm not saying everybody's got to settle down right away and have a huge family, but I'd like to see all my kids settled someday. I suppose they've got time; I don't plan on dying anytime soon.
Seth Pons, Pleasure, Become Celebrity Chef
He seems to have his mother's eyes and chin
and his father's nose and mouth. 
Hopefully he'll grow into his features a bit...

It's a good thing we did build onto the house, because a few weeks after Seth's birthday we got a call from our old social worker, the one who handled things when we adopted Jeannie and Edward. Jeannie had gone into foster care when she was four years old and we adopted her when she was five. Apparently, right after we adopted her, her biological mother gave birth to a little boy. 

Now this second child was five years old and she was facing having him taken away by the state and decided to see if we could adopt him instead, to save him from having to go into foster care. (We sent her pictures and letters from time to time, so she knew Jeannie was happy and doing well.) Greg was a little worried about taking on a seventh child at our age, but I talked him into it. We met Brian for the first time a few weeks later and within a year he was officially a member of the Pons family.

We had figured on letting Brian have the playroom as his bedroom, but the little boys wouldn't hear of it. So we had three of them all in a room together--I think it helped Brian to adjust, not being all alone at night. 

Somehow, having my own study didn't afford me a lot of extra privacy. The kids seemed to have some kind of radar to know when I was writing and they'd all be in the study at once, practicing the violin or doing their homework or whatever. I can't say I mind too much; why would I have seven kids if I didn't want to be surrounded by children the rest of my life?

This was pretty much unposed and I thought it was hilarious.

Of course, we got Brian into private school as soon as we could. Greg and the headmaster are best friends by now--Greg is one of those people who makes friends with everyone he meets--and the home visit was pretty much going through the motions. We all knew Brian would get in.

Greg got about 30 schmooze points just by greeting the headmaster! I think they're best friends, which could explain it.

I was glad to have Brian around, because before I knew it all the "little" kids were heading off to high school. Jeannie was first. She is a really pretty girl, but isn't interested in boys yet. She keeps her nose buried pretty well in books--she's not too serious, though; says she wants to design video games for a living when she's older. 

Jeannie Pons: Knowledge, Become Game Designer
The next year, it was Gabe and Edward's turn. Edward is a lot like Jeannie in temperament, but even more serious and bookish. He says he wants to be a world-renowned scientist when he grows up.

Edward Pons: Knowledge, Become Mad Scientist. 
He was the last to grow up and I was kind of hoping he'd be Popularity so Joan and Greg would have the complete collection, but he's really better suited for Knowledge anyway. Maybe Brian will roll Popularity.
Gabe, on the other hand, seems to take after me. He has been telling me lately how all he really wants to do is have a big family. 

Gabriel Pons: Family, Marry Off 6 Children. He has the same mouth/chin combo as Seth, but somehow he pulls it off better, I think.
Gabe has even been telling me who he wants to have that big family with. I think it's a little crazy for a 14-year-old to be thinking such things, but at least he's latched onto a nice girl. Her name is Alexis and she's related somehow to that Priscilla girl from across town. My biggest concern is that she's eight years older than Gabe. That's why I kind of think it's just puppy love at this point, though Gabe claims that they're soul mates and will get married someday. 

Gabe and Alexis are a 2-bolt couple, and both Family Sims, so I think they'll have a future together...

Maybe I shouldn't worry about him getting in over his head, though, considering that I noticed him giving Alexis noogies out on the front lawn. I don't think that's the way to impress a beautiful older woman...

It hasn't just been the kids getting older. Greg and I are 61 now, and starting to look rather wrinkled and gray-haired.

Greg is more handsome as an elder than as an adult, I think. He's wearing a very ugly suit, though. I got him some new clothes right away.

Joan is still very pretty. Sarah is still a teen because I hadn't loaded the college lot yet.

Greg and Joan weren't permaplat, but they were both regular platinum, so they should be with us a good long while yet. (As of the beginning of Week 7, Greg is an astronaut, just 1 promotion away from permaplat. Joan still has to marry off 5 children, though.)
Greg has been focusing on helping the kids get scholarships for college and things. He's assuming that we're going to be focusing on that sort of thing from here on out...but there's a tiny part of me that wonders if we should say goodbye to the little-kid stage just yet...

Here's the house at the end of the week. Not much has changed from the renovation pictures above, but you can see it from a different angle.

The second floor. Joe and Seth sleep in the room on the left, Jeannie in the room on the right, and the other three boys in the room in back.

The outside. The mahjong tables are from Family Sunday, which was unremarkable and therefore didn't make it into the update. I should move the obstacle course; when I was having Greg train the boys they kept getting in each other's way. (I was yelling "You are too stupid to live!" at my computer and my husband didn't bat an eyelash. He's a gamer too.)

Odd pic out: As it turns out, Greg is good friends with Zeeshan Kimbrell, father of Agatha Riedmayer's illegitimate son. Here they are talking about how hot Agatha is. Greg had better not let his wife catch him talking about her aunt that way...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week Six Part Five: Riedmayer-Landgraab Estate

Beata Riedmayer-Landgraab: 69 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. Lifetime want: Own 5 Top-Level Businesses. (Fulfilled: Become General.) Astrological sign: Scorpio.
Malcolm Landgraab IV: 66 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. Lifetime want: Own 5 Top-Level Businesses. (Fulfilled: Become Criminal Mastermind.) Astrological sign: Gemini.
Malcolm Landgraab V: 31 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. Lifetime want: Become Media Magnate. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Theresa Dejackome: 28 years old. Aspiration: Fortune. (Formerly Romance.) Lifetime want: Become City Planner. Astrological sign: Libra.
Marion Langraab: 25 years old. Aspiration: Pleasure. Lifetime want: Have 50 1st Dates. Astrological sign: Gemini.
Margaret "Maggie" Landgraab: 19 years old. Aspiration: Popularity. Lifetime want: Have 20 Simultaneous Best Friends. Astrological sign: Gemini.

Here is the Riedmayer family tree, very slightly truncated. (Beata's cousins are excluded.) Beata recently became an aunt for the first time by her much younger half-sister Agatha, though she was hardly lacking in relatives before that, with 7 children and 16 grandchildren. There is simply no way to make her family tree very small.

This is the family tree for Theresa, the final member of the household. (Theresa lives here because she is engaged to Malcolm V.) The Dejackomes have only just grown to the point where their tree is wider than it is tall. Theresa's two older sisters both got pregnant twice in Round 5, but Gretchen didn't manage to deliver her second child before the end of the round. (So she has to waddle around town heavily pregnant for several real-life months.) Theresa's sister-in-law Annie--wife to her twin brother Gavin--was put in a similar predicament earlier in this round.

If I had not truncated the Riedmayer tree, you would be able to tell that Annie is Beata's first cousin. I think it is funny that Theresa's brother is married to her fiance's mother's cousin. I just like twisty family trees. 

"The Right Thing To Do"
Narrated by Theresa Dejackome

Mal and I went back to live with his parents after college. We just stuck a double bed up in his old room...I wasn't a fan of the whole fish theme, but neither of us had jobs yet so we didn't have a whole lot of spare cash to redecorate. Mal's parents are worth a lot, but it's all tied up in the businesses.

No sooner were we back then Mal's younger sisters left for Sim State. Marion, the older one, got six scholarships. (For good grades, cooking, logic, creativity, top of teen career, and dance skill.)

Maggie got five. (The same as Marion's minus cooking.)

Mal and I ended up both getting jobs with the SCIA--not the dream career for either of us, but it paid the bills. We also spent a ton of time helping out with the various businesses that Mal's parents own.

In the fall of 2048 I found out I was pregnant. It wasn't exactly planned, though Mal had broached the subject a few times...he wanted a son to carry on the family name. Anyway, Mal wanted to get married the moment we found out, but I wasn't sure I wanted to rush into it. I mean, we'd been together for seventeen years by then and exclusive for five, and I was pretty sure I wanted to be with him the rest of my life, but marriage still didn't appeal to me much.

Beata suggested that we go to the beach house...Big Mal had bought it a few years previously but they'd never had a chance to go. (I call Mal's dad Big Mal. It seemed like a good idea at the time and he thinks it's hilarious, probably because he's shorter than me.) Beata said we could clear our heads and make a better decision that way, but I think she just wanted to get away from the winter weather.

Remember how Dogface there got into an altercation with Theresa at Gavin's wedding? Now he's apparently taken up staring creepily at the Landgraab family as revenge. 

We spent the entire week doing pretty much nothing, which was awesome.

I think the break made Mal and I both perform better at work. At any rate, we both got promoted to Head of the SCIA a few weeks after we got back. Of course, that's just a job title. The real head of the SCIA has a totally ordinary sounding job title. We were pretty much working as glorified decoys. 

And maybe the vacation did clear my head a bit, because Mal and I got married in March. It was just a quickie ceremony with Mal's parents as witnesses, but it felt good. It felt like the right thing to do.

Our son was born on April 5, 2049. Mal was so excited you wouldn't even believe it. Of course, we named the baby Malcolm Landgraab VI. He looks like me, though--red hair and brown eyes. 

After the baby was born (I called him "the baby" at first, and then "Baby Mal" later.) we used the money we'd saved to renovate the house a bit. Downstairs we added a formal dining room and a little den. 

The upstairs study we turned into a nursery for the baby...sort of. We had other renovation plans so instead of a major redecoration we just stuck a crib and changing table in there. 

Shortly after Baby Mal was born, my Mal managed to get a job as a magazine editor, which was what he wanted to be doing. I still had no luck finding work as an architect, so I mainly helped out with the businesses. We got our second Best of the Best Award for the business we opened that year.
We had gotten the first shortly after Mal and I came back from college, after Big Mal had been in business for 40 years without getting any.

Meanwhile, Baby Mal was growing up fast and looking more like me every day.

Mal and I aren't the types to want a huge family, but he thought Baby Mal would be lonely as an only child and I kind of wanted a girl. Mal wanted them to be close, but I won out there...I found out I was pregnant again on Mal's fourth birthday, so they'd be about 4 1/2 years apart. 

The businesses were doing well, so we decided that we should expand our house before the new baby arrived. So we built out over the newer downstairs wing (with the dining room and the den). Our new bedroom was big enough to keep my drafting table on one end...I managed to finally get a job in architecture at that point.
We added two bathrooms, though there was a net gain of only one since we had to rip out the old bathroom to extend the hallway.

One Sunday just before school started back up, we closed the home business and invited over all our relatives for the day. The guys mostly played poker.

Clockwise from left: Johnson Simpson (Beata's uncle by marriage), Mal, Greg Pons, and Thomas Dai. (Thomas married Edith late last round, as you may recall.)
The little boys (Mal has a TON of nephews) mostly watched TV.

From left: Edward Pons, Charles Riedmayer, Seth Pons, and Gabriel Pons.

I ended up sitting and eating sandwiches with a couple of them. They talked about videogames the whole time. I wonder if all little boys like videogames. You'd think I'd know something about little boys, since I have a twin brother, but I don't understand them at all. 

Gabriel Pons again, Landon Whitfill, and Theresa.

Theresa's relatives were there too, but I didn't get any good pictures of them.

On November 18 I went into labor. I gave birth to a little boy, Michael...

And a daughter, Melinda!

The twins were definitely a surprise, but at least we have Mal's parents helping out. I don't know if I'd survive otherwise, with three kids under five. 

Speaking of, I think I hear somebody wailing upstairs. I suppose I should go check...

Side story: When Theresa went into labor, she was standing around in the dining room with Beata and Malcolm V. She walked right past both of them and into the kitchen to hand Michael to Malcolm IV so she could give birth to Melinda. I have no idea why you'd pick your father-in-law as labor assistant over your husband or mother-in-law.

The bottom floor of the house at the end of the week. You saw the new rooms close up earlier.

The second floor. I really like how the extension turned out. Right now Malcolm VI and Michael share the fish room and Melinda has the princess room.

The outside. There should probably be more windows.

The front. I still really like this house's overall look and cannot really take credit for it since it is a Maxis house, albeit heavily made over. 

In case you can't tell, Malcolm VI has red hair, brown eyes, and S2 skin. Michael has blond hair, brown eyes, and S3 skin. Melinda has blond hair, brown eyes, and S1 skin. I think it's funny that they each got a different skin tone. 

Right now the Landgraabs have 4 Level 10 businesses and 2 more that are working their way up, so next round they'll probably become my first ever family with 5 Level 10 businesses.

Also, I couldn't figure out how to fit it into the update, but look what I did! I think Beata's life insurance policy is going to benefit a lot of people when she goes to party with Grim...

And Theresa is doing very well for someone who's only been a Fortune Sim for 1/3 of her life. These college grads are almost too easy.