Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Week Six Part Eight: Paradisio

Donte Whitfill: 38 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. LTW: Become City Planner (fulfilled: Become Education Minister). Astrological sign: Aquarius.
Gretchen (Dejackome) Whitfill: 31 years old. Aspiration: Knowledge. LTW: Max All Skills. (fulfilled: Become Criminal Mastermind). Astrological sign: Aries.
Emerson "Emmy" Whitfill: 3 years old. Astrological sign: Sagittarius.

Family trees:

narrated by Gretchen Whitfill

Donte and I welcomed our second daughter, Shelley Beatrice Whitfill, on April 14, 2045. She was the spitting image of her older sister, Emmy, who was 2 1/2 at the time.

I worked for Malcolm Landgraab's imports business back then, but I took a leave of absence in order to be a stay-at-home mother to the girls while they were small. I was also figuring on studying for the SKILL test, but it turns out that taking care of a toddler and an infant is pretty time consuming.

Fortunately, we had a great support system. In addition to our siblings, Elise Kules, one of Donte's college friends, came over a lot. Her daughter Priscilla is just a few months older than Emmy and she has a son as well who was pretty young at the time, but I guess she liked being around a baby or something. I wasn't looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Donte worked a lot, but he made sure to spend plenty of time with his daughters as well. He's an excellent father and just loves to teach them things.

A few months after Shelley was born, he felt like he had done everything he wanted in the architecture world, so he switched to working for a game design company.

The girls grew up so fast...before we knew it, it was time for Emmy to start kindergarten.

Meanwhile, Shelley took her sister's place as the resident rampaging toddler. I love my kids, but they sure can get into things.

It was important to us that Emerson get the best education possible, so we enrolled her in my alma mater, Bluewater Academy. Donte went to public school himself, but he was suitably impressed by the headmaster's educational philosophy.

Donte enjoyed working in gaming, but after only two years he quit that job and became a scientist. He's already talking about getting into journalism after he accomplishes some things in the scientific field. I think he might be trying to excel at every career that exists...

I was still staying at home with the girls and studying for my SKILL test, but my heart defnitely isn't in the whole homemaker thing. A lot of the time, Emmy would get up and get herself some cookies or something for breakfast--I never feel up to doing more than fixing some cereal in the mornings. It makes me think back to all the awesome pancake breakfasts Aunt Mel used to make for my siblings and me...I have no idea how she kept up a career AND paid so much attention to four kids.

Soon Shelley was old enough for kindergarten too. We got her into Bluewater Academy with Emmy easily.

The older she got, the more obvious it was that she, like Emmy, looks just like Donte (though with my eye color). I'm honestly surprised that I feel disappointed. I was adopted, and so was Donte, so you'd think I'd be pretty firmly aware of the fact that it isn't sharing blood or looking alike that makes you family. Still, feelings are what they are, and I do wish one of the girls looked more like me. Not enough to have a third child and start the diaper phase all over again, though.

Anyway...the girls had been raising a ruckus for a while about not being "allowed" to share a room. Almost all of their cousins share, and they seem to think it's some kind of awesome privilege. Personally, I shared a room with my two sisters all through our growing-up years and if I hadn't gotten married I'd have happily never shared a room again. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Anyway, we let Shelley move into Emmy's room and turned the old nursery into a playroom. So far the girls seem to sleep well and don't fight any more than usual, so I guess that's a success. We'll see if they want to switch back when they're teenagers...

I finally got a 100% on my SKILL test shortly after Shelley started kindergarten...it's amazing how hard it is to study with little kids underfoot. Shortly thereafter, I ended up resigning from my position with Landgraab Enterprises and took a job as a guest lecturer at Sim State. It's just a little more stable, and I've got two kids to think of now.

When he wasn't working, Donte was tinkering around on the robot bench we've had since we were first married. I've never made much more than toy robots on there, but Donte decided he was going to make a full-sized one, with far more complicated AI. The "servo", as he calls it, is programmed to do chores and childcare and other such household tasks. It's also capable of holding a realistic conversation. Naturally, he programmed it to frequently tell him how awesome of a scientist he is. The servo is called Asimov, after one of Donte's favorite authors. I'm kind of glad we didn't have a son; could you imagine a real boy named that?

I guess that's about it. It's summer now, so the girls are out of school and have been enjoying our pool. They're bright, well-behaved children; our jobs are going well; our marriage is just about perfect...life is pretty good.

The downstairs at the end of the week: All the walls are in place, and the kitchen and dining room are state-of-the-art. The Whitfills can't afford to furnish the living room yet, though. The big room on the right is a sort of hobby/study/craft room. You can also just see a bathroom behind the stairs.

Upstairs is about the same. Gretchen and Donte have a private study next to their bedroom, and then in back we have the girls' bedroom and the playroom. 

The outside looks pretty much the same as last round, just with a servo sunning himself on the lawn.


Yes, Emmy and Shelley are clones. *sigh* I really need to remember to jiggle the randomizer before babies are born. At least they're cute...

When Donte became a City Planner, that was TOC #3 and LTW #2 for him. Then he became a Game Designer--TOC #4 and LTW #3. His new LTW is to become a Media Magnate, but I put him in Science because the career reward is better. I'm kind of curious to see how many careers he'll be able to top in his lifetime, even though I only got points for the first two (Business and Education).

Gretchen fulfilled her second LTW (Max all skills) and rolled the want to become Education Minister. I let her get a job in Education because I have grand plans of letting Emmy take a Bookshelf of Education to college with her. Donte already earned one, so Gretchen's will be the spare for Emmy to take.

The scene with Elise was total gameplay...she just walked in without being greeted and fetched Emmy out of her crib while Gretchen was busy with the baby. I checked relationship panels and realized she was BFFs with Donte (that's why she could walk in uninvited), which confused me until I remembered that they went to college together. I need to start holding class reunions or something so I can foster these relationships.


  1. That was a welcome read to accompany my morning coffee :-) Emerson is a girls' name? I could have sworn it is male.
    So the girls in your game all get the same hairstyle on age-transition, too... I have started to change their looks, I'm so fed up with it being always the same.
    Is the randomizer a hack?
    Oh, and your update just reminded me that there is, so far, not a single Servo in New Maximiliania!

    1. I know of actual girls named Emerson. I think Americans have weirder names than other countries. :)

      I don't know why I left the girls both the same; I guess I wanted to confuse myself.

      The randomizer is built into the game. My understanding is that when a baby is born, the game sort of "rolls the dice" to see what it will look like. The trouble is, it was coded lazily and it always starts in the same place, so you get siblings who look identical all the time. (I took ONE computer programming class and even I know that you have to properly seed your randomizer...silly Maxis.) The way to avoid that is to go into CAS, click "Create a Sim" and then click "Randomize" a few times. (The little dice icon.) This makes the randomizer start at a different place so the kids look different.

      Servos are fun in houses with NO BABIES. I had another one in a house with twin babies and he fed them bottles like every half-hour. I was never gladder to see a pair of toddlers.

    2. Thank you for the explanation about the randomizer! I'll definitely do that when I start my game next time, since there is a baby due to be born very soon in the household I am currently playing :-)

  2. The dreaded first-born syndrome! It took me years of playing before I even knew about it, just wondering why all my kids looked the same, except twins, that SHOULD look the same :)

    1. I didn't know about it until I joined the Prosperity Yahoo group and someone explained it, but after that it made so much sense!