Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Armagideon time

Round 28: Spring 2027
last update/next update

Evan Moretti is 38, Ione is 31, Justin and Xavier are both 6 and Aurora and Bianca are both 1.
(Araminta is 65, Henry is 63, Lia is 30 and Annabel and Georgina are both 3)

Narrated by Ione Moretti

We love our house but money has been so tight since we moved here and had Aurora and Bianca. We had to take out quite a large mortgage to buy it and then this year's taxes put us further into debt.

There's hope though! Evan and I came up with the idea of fixing up old cars to sell. I did one up in high school, so it's something I'm familiar with.

The cars cost next to nothing to buy and we can make a good profit on each. It takes a lot of work though, so it'll still be a while before we're in the clear financially.

Four children doesn't leave us much spare time and they have to be our priority.

We thought we never got any private time with just the boys but now with Aurora and Bianca too, we're really never alone!

A second set of twins was definitely an enormous shock to both of us and they definitely keep us busy. The house is not quite as chaotic or noisy as you might imagine though.

Early morning is the noisiest time around here but once Aurora is out of her crib, she's usually pretty easy to please for the rest of the day.

She's equally happy to play on her own...

...or with one of us.

Bianca is a bit more independent and gets a bit cranky if we try to do too many songs or games with her, so we let her do her own thing. If she's not in the nursery, she's generally drooling all over Xavier's toys in his room!

She just adores Xavier and wants to do everything he does, which includes playing with his toys.

One of the best things about where we live now is being right across the road from Lia. Annabel and Georgina are two years older than Aurora and Bianca but they all play so sweetly together.

That leaves Lia and I free to catch up while the girls are occupied. We're both having financial troubles right now.

I've got the mortgage and Lia is worried that she and Gordon will soon be in debt too. He's decided he wants to go to law school, which is going to cost them a lot of money. Lia is being supportive but she's freaking out a little bit too.

Evan and I are both fairly certain we'll stay with the police force until we retire. The pay is decent enough and it's very stable. I was just promoted to desk sergeant, which means a higher salary and no more night shift! I was so sick of getting home after everyone else had already gone to bed.

While on the night shift, I saw plenty of Aurora and Bianca, seeing we were all home during the day but I really missed Xavier and Justin.

They'd come home from school just as I was leaving for work and it'd just be Evan and the kids until 11 or 12, well after their bed time.

I haven't been back on the day shift for very long but already I'm happier. I'm trying to hang out with Justin and Xavier as much as I can, even if we're just watching TV together.

My promotion has meant that we've had to start discussing child care arrangements. I won't be home during the day to watch the girls, so we need to get somebody. Right now, I'm taking a vacation day when Evan has to work but those obviously aren't going to last forever.

Mum and Dad keep putting their hands up to volunteer, because Mum is looking at retiring next year. I would hate imposing on them like that though. They should be relaxing now, not raising their grandkids.

My parents are both in their 60s now and not as spry as they used to be, no matter what they say. I can see that the kids wear them out sometimes.

Justin and Xavier are nearing the end of first grade now and they just couldn't be more different. Justin took to school straight away. He seems to pick up everything really quickly and never has much trouble.

Xavier has had so many problems though, the poor kid. He actually really loves reading and writing - he's just so behind the rest of his class.

Evan's been helping him with his homework every afternoon and we're starting to see some small improvements. Xavier feels more confident with his dad right there behind him but I still worry. I don't want this to be something that follows him through school.

Extras:

The photo theme at N99 this week is Mother & Son pictures, so I thought I'd take a couple of Ione and the boys.

I did one of them with Evan too (let's pretend they're standing on the coffee table and I wasn't just too lazy to find the below ground OMSPs), just for the hell of it. I didn't leave the girls out of the photo session but I didn't like how their pics turned out as much.

Notes:
  • Title is from Armagideon Time by The Clash.
  • I started Evan and Ione on one junker car while she was pregnant and it was almost done when I got them to work on it again this session. So they finished that one, and another, which knocked $11,000 off their debt. I have the lot set up as a home business, so they can sell the cars above cost and make a little more cash. I'll close the business down once they're out of debt.
  • Have you ever seen anything cuter than Bianca kissing Xavier? So sweet. I love how she's holding his face like that.
  • Xavier seems to have the same issue as his cousin Adelaide. He does his homework every day but he goes to school and gets Ds. :( Poor kid. He's breaking my heart because he rolls the want to do homework and get an A+, so he really does try his best. And then there's Justin, who tops the class without even trying. I love playing with Harder Grades - it really makes things more interesting.

17 comments:

  1. I love the family pictures, especially the single parent ones.

    I never realized that sims could have the kinda difficulty with homework unless they just weren't doing it. Is that from a hack or did my kids end up being lazy geniuses? I do wonder now.

    Last question: How did Bianca kiss Xavier like that? It's adorable but I have never seen that.

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  2. Absolutely adorable kiddos!!
    When Ione said she fixed up a car in highschool I was thinking "You go girl!" I love the picture you took from inside the car. It's such a unique perspective!

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  3. Is it wrong to have a favorite sim kid? Because I'm pretty sure Aurora is the cutest toddler I've ever seen! And I love how different the boys are already, even at such a young age. I may have to install that grade hack..

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  4. Thanks for commenting, everyone!

    rome_raven, thanks, they were fun to do!

    You're right; without a hack, as long as your Sims do their homework, they'll eventually get an A+. I use the Harder Grades hack. I think this is the version I'm using:

    http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,3091.0.html

    It works based on the skills your Sim has and it makes things so much more interesting.

    As far as I know, that's just the regular family kiss interaction that Bianca and Xavier are doing. They did it autonomously though and it's possible that the autonomous interaction is different from the one you can direct them to do. There are a few interactions in the game like that.

    gallowaytownship, ha, yeah, I like my tinkering girls to fix up their own cars. Tatiana did one in high school too, with help from Jonas. But she did the engine. ;)

    I meant to mention it in the Notes but that picture of Evan through the windshield is similar to one I took of his dad, Filippo, when he was fresh out of college.

    http://sullivansims.blogspot.com/2009/02/you-and-me.html

    Renegade, oh, I think we all have our favourites and Aurora is definitely an adorable little thing!

    You should definitely try out the grade hack. It's made the kids a lot more interesting to me. Lately, not many of them have graduated high school with an A+ and that used to be a given. Kids are pretty easy to keep happy most of the time, so it's nice to add another challenge.

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  5. Aww, that picture of Bianca and Xavier is just adorable!

    I really like this family and I'm happy they've found a way to get out of debt.

    That hardergrades hack is really great. I got bored with all my kids getting A+ but now there's much more variety.

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  6. Ow, those harder grades, sometimes I really don't get it. I've only recently put it in my game and some sims, with not so many skill-points, get an A+ and other, who work hard on school and skill, keep comming home with 'bad' grades!!
    It's sad to see them struggle, but it's much more realisti!
    I love the picture of Ione with her boys!!
    You're absolutely right, the picture of Bianca and Xavier is soo cute!!
    Those 4 toddler playing togehter is really sweet. I actually can't believe Annabel and Georgina are already 3 years old! Time really flies!

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  7. The picture of Bianca and Xaviar is by far my favorite! So sweet :). I have a harder grades hack installed for my college kids but not my teens and kids. I think I may have to try it out :)

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  8. tanja, the catch is the logic skill. the more logic skills they have, the easier the A. i've got the same hack, plus the hack for slower skills. it makes them really work for those skills.

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  9. Sari, poor Ione's parents weren't so lucky! They struggled financially for years. If Ione and Evan kept doing this car thing, the could probably build up a nice nest egg. They might need it, with four kids!

    Tanja, I don't know what version of Harder Grades you're using but if it's Harder Grades, they need logic points. Specifically, if it's Harder Harder Grades, which is the one I use, each Sim has a different base skill they need to improve, depending on their interests and (I think) aspiration.

    Annabel and Georgina are four now! I just aged them up for birthdays. :)

    Mizzgin03, isn't it cute?

    I haven't tried the college harder grades hack. I've had four kids flunk out and one who just scraped by, so I figure my Sims are doing a good enough job of making college harder themselves!

    LaurelCrossing, actually, like I said to Tanja, it depends on what version you're using. With the one I'm using, each Sim has a different base skill they need to work on. I honestly have no clue what each Sim's base skill is though. They only skill when they have the want anyway, so their grades are really dependent on that.

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  10. I love that photo of the siblings kissing as well, it was so cute. Wow, good news all around for the family with the promotion and selling cars for profit. Hopefully debt will leave them soon. I'm always anxious to pay off my simmie's debt-much like in RL-that I'm trying now to allow them to have debt and wallow in it for a while since all simmies are not the best money managers.

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  11. Apple Valley, yeah, me too. That's actually why I stopped after I finished the second car. I thought, well, you can live with it a little bit now! LOL.

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  12. All the kids in this update were so cute! I loved Bianca's kiss. Awww!

    And all those last pictures of the kids with their parents, cute! The whole family picture though is funny and ridiculous. Poor Ione and Evan, lol.

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  13. Lunar, all of Ione and Evan's kids turned out so cute! I love them. I just used that kiss picture in the sibling thread at N99. I was happy to get another reason to show it off.

    LOL, yeah, well, this is what Ione wanted, so she can't complain to me now! She's got the want for a fifth child, pretty consistently. It's not happening, at least not at this time (so hard to say no!)

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  14. Oh wow, all these children, lol! Every time I see someone playing a really big family, I get this idea in my head that I might like to have one. 3 is my biggest right now, and even that's pretty crazy!

    They're all so cute though! :)

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  15. Laura, thanks!

    I do love a large family. I really should be thinking about my population because I'm going to have to play all these kids one day! So hard to resist though.

    One day, I want my game to give me a family of four, all the same gender. I've never had that but every time I see Shana's Sutton girls, I want it! I have such lofty goals!

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  16. Aww I so love that picture of Bianca kissing Xavier. And love the pic of Evan holding Aurora up in the air. What a lovely family. Love the family photoshoot. And the play date is so cute, too. I'll have to remember to adjust toddler heights when I get to that point. It makes it much more realistic knowing their age difference.

    That's great that they can make so much off of restoring cars. I only have 2 tinkering sims right now and I have pretty vague plans for what I'm going to do with it in the future.

    And I'm glad you're enjoying the harder grades. It makes things so much more interesting when they're not all breezing through school like it's nothing.

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  17. Danielle, I'm still so in love with that picture and the one of Evan and Aurora is a favourite too. There's so much joy in that one.

    I only ever bother with toddler heights if I'm going to have two toddlers of different ages in the same scene. I just do those in game, rather than in SimPE.

    Restoring cars is one of the best ways to make money. I only let my tinkering Sims do it but it works out well. Especially when there are TWO tinkering Sims to get the work done!

    And yes, I can't imagine playing without Harder Grades now! I'm thinking of trying out the college version but I'm not sure yet.

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