Saturday, 25 September 2010

Split needles

Round 28: Spring 2028

Rose and Joanna Draper are both 33 and Sylvia is 2.
(Adam is 73, Lake is 71, Athena is 68, Rob is 27, Patience is 26 and Adrienne is 21)

Narrated by Joanna Draper

Rose's sister Patience recently moved in with her boyfriend Rob and they invited us over for dinner one night not long afterwards.

I wanted to get a babysitter for Sylvia but Patience insisted we bring her. I think Sylvia was the main reason we were even invited, actually! Patience is pretty keen to start her own family.

Their place isn't exactly kid-friendly right now, so we had to bring a couple of toys to keep Sylvia occupied.

Rob isn't the greatest cook but I'm kind of a food snob. We should all just be thankful Patience wasn't let loose in the kitchen!

And it was nice to have a little adult conversation, which is somewhat rare these days!

It's a lot harder to find the time for that with a 2 year-old.

Sylvia needed a change almost as soon as we'd finished eating and even after that, she was still whiny.

We really needed to get her home but of course, Patience didn't recognise the urgency of the situation and was taking her time saying goodbye to Rose.

We try to keep nighttime outings to a minimum with Sylvia. She's much better when we're at home and can put her to bed whenever she gets cranky. We get out with her in the day time instead.

Rose is trying to lose weight, so we've all been heading out to the park every weekend so she can practise her tai chi.

Sylvia loves the llama riders there, so she and I keep ourselves occupied too.

Ideally, one of us would be home with Sylvia all the time and we try to make that happen as much as we can.

But we have to work and our schedules aren't particularly flexible, so we have to make do with the days off that we have.

We hired a nanny, which I really didn't want to do. I hate the idea of a stranger in our home, taking care of our child.

I've had to admit that the nanny is pretty good with Sylvia though. We checked her references and she's very experienced.

Sylvia seems to like her a lot too.

Though she's not that discerning. She hugs and kisses Abel as much as she does anybody else.

All of our parents are still working but they somehow still find the time to drop by to see us, even during the week. Lake comes around much more often than he did pre-Sylvia. She's his first grandchild, so it's all really exciting for him.

Mum has always been one to just invite herself in whenever she pleases but she's so much worse now that we have Sylvia!

I'll just walk into the living room and there's Mum. She's terrible!

Her excuse used to be "the door was unlocked". Now it's "I just wanted to see my granddaughter".

Like we never let Mum see her. She sees Sylvia all the time.

We invite her and Dad over at least once a week.

They like to be involved. They love us and they adore Sylvia, so I guess I shouldn't really complain.

I still can't help but inwardly groan whenever Dad asks about when we'll be adding to the family again.

Dad just really loves being a grandpa and would like to be one many times over. Doesn't stop me from feeling a little pressured though!

I found the adoption home study really trying and I'm struggling a little with the whole open adoption thing too. Rose and I worked out a visitation schedule with Adrienne, Sylvia's birth mother, which she agreed to.

Right now, she comes about once a month. It's very strange for me. I taught Adrienne when she was in primary school and then again in high school, so there's an added degree of awkwardness.

She stays an hour or two, plays and talks with Sylvia for a little while and then we have Sylvia to ourselves again until next time.

It must be weird for Adrienne as well, to have her baby adopted by her former teacher. So far, Sylvia doesn't seem confused or upset by the situation. She likes Adrienne a lot, actually.

I guess it's mostly just me who is a little bothered by this arrangement. It all seems a bit intrusive but Rose is insisting that I'll get used to it and soon it'll just be the way it is and I won't even notice. I hope so.

My feelings on the adoption are part of why we haven't decided on when, or if, we'll have another kid. If it was just up to Rose, we'd probably have another few kids.

Even without an open adoption, we'd still have to do another home study. I don't know if I could take that again.

Rose doesn't think it would be nearly so intense the second time around, because we've already done it once. Still though, the thought isn't appealing.

But another kid is something I might be able to see in our future. Maybe not a few more but one more is a definite possibility.

But I can see us being very happy if we just stayed as we are too: just me, Rose, Sylvia and the dog.

Luckily, we don't have to many any big decisions just yet. We've decided to talk about our options again in another year or so.

  • Title is from Split Needles by the Shins.
  • Rob is an official playable now, so next round, he and Patience will get their own update. They are in no small amount of debt right now ($10,000 and I've only decorated the downstairs of their place!) but I like their place a lot. Starr from Apple Valley built the apartment building and it is very, very awesome.
  • I haven't decided whether Rose and Joanna will have another kid. I haven't had an only child family since Madelyn and she's almost 50 now! But if either Rose or Joanna roll a want, I know I'll give in. Actually, there's a good chance of me giving in even without a want, lol!


  1. I love Joanna's new haircut, it looks really lovely on her :) She still looks so much like she did as a child, but that's so neat about her, I like it!

    I'm glad to see that they're adjusting well to Sylvia, it actually kind of seems like she's bringing the nice out of Joanna a bit more!

    Instead of having them adopt, I think you should have them have a child the Linnea and Debbie way! It'd be really interesting to see how their genetics mixed :P

  2. Aww I adore them with Sylvia. I definitely would recommend a closed adoption next time around, I can see how that would be awkward. I personally wouldn't be comfortable with an open adoption, so Im with Joanna on this one.

    I am curious how their genetics would work, or if they did surrogate, that'd be great too!

    They have a lovely little backyard, and home, and I love that all the grandparents are so active in Sylvia's life.

  3. Aww, she is the cutest two year old and they are so sweet with her.

    Do you mind me asking, WCIF that single door version of the double AL door in their house?

    Hmm, I haven't had an only child family ever. My sims always seem to pop out another kid.

    Oooo, I love how Rob and Patience's place turned out. I'm thinking about building another version of the apartment with more bedrooms for those bigger sim families. I guess I should link the house on my blog.

  4. Thanks for reading, all. :)

    Tessa, it was about time Rose and Joanna got a makeover. They've both looked exactly the same since college. And yeah, Joanna's face really hasn't changed much at all over the years. I guess it's because her face is roundish and toddler/child faces tend towards being roundish anyway.

    Motherhood is softening Joanna a bit, I think! I doubt she'll ever wuss out completely but she's learning to hold her tongue when she really needs to, like with the home study.

    Ah, back when I first graduated Rose and Joanna, the Linnea and Debbie way would have been my plan. But it's not really realistic, so if they don't adopt again, I'll go the sperm donor route instead. I've never done that before.

    Maisie, they're sweet, aren't they?

    I don't think I could handle an open adoption myself, although I think it probably works really well for some people. I don't know how long Adrienne will keep up with the visits or how frequent they'll be. I imagine she'll eventually have her own family and it might be more difficult to manage then.

    I'm thinking sperm donor for Rose and Joanna if they have another. When Calvin and Aaron have kids, I'm going to do a surrogacy thing for them (they'll probably ask Maia, because I think she'd do it for Aaron).

    Took all my strength not to totally whore out their backyard at the end there! I have a few pictures of it and it's really, really pretty. Should've done outtakes! Oh well.

    Apple Valley, I know, I totally loved playing this family. They're really gorgeous.

    Ha, you don't, do you? I think Madelyn is my only only child, so it's not a frequent occurrence for me either.

    Rob and Patience's place isn't finished yet (though what you can see is complete) but it's working really well for them. They can even stay there once they pop out a baby, so it should last them for a while. :) Thanks again for sharing the building.

    And the single door is by fway at MTS.

  5. What a gorgeous little family. I really like reading about them.

    I understand Joanna's point of view about the open adoption even though I see it as a good thing for all of them. I guess it can feel a bit strange having to "share" her child with someone else.

    Yes for more babies! I always love seeing sims have more babies LOL.

  6. I completely understand why Joanna is put off with homestudy. Having people evaulate how you live probably is nerve racking. But I am sure she feels that Sylvia was worth it and another baby would be too.

    By the way. I love the wallpaper you use in your homes. They are alway so I catching.

  7. Sari, I'm glad, because I really like writing about them. ;)

    Rose would take your point of view and would not only be okay with this arrangement but would think it was actually best for all involved. Joanna is much more closed off and private and it's not something she's comfortable with, at least not right now.

    I always love seeing Sims have more babies too. I'm sure that will come as no surprise to any of you!

    oasisvalley, exactly. It's a very tense situation, especially for someone with hermit tendencies like Joanna. If she could just hole up in her house with Rose and Sylvia forever, she'd be fine.

    And thank you. I tend to just pick them up with lots I download, though I have picked up a few packs with a lot of walls and floors in them too.

  8. It would be nice if they adopted another child, but if they didn't they could give Sylvia all their love and attention, which wouldn't be that bad either.
    They are a very cute family just the 3 (or 4) of them.

    How did you do it with Adrienne, in the in-game familytree? Is Adrienne still the mother, or are Rose and Joanna the mothers in the tree?

    Grandparents and their grandchildren are so sweet, they always want to be with them. My mom told me my grandmother came by almost every day when I was born, just to see me :)

  9. I really like this little family. Sylvia is such a lucky little girl and she doesn't even know it yet. She has so many loving family members. And I hope they decide to adopt again soon. It'd be cool to see what their kids would have looked like if you still did the Linnea/Debbie way but you're right, it's not realistic at all (but glad you did it or we wouldn't have Cordy and Luc). And hopefully it'll be a closed adoption because I don't see Joanna handling having 2 different mothers visiting their kids well. I don't think I'd handle it well either.

    Which apartment building of Starrs did you use for Rob and Patience? I haven't put any new lots in my game recently so I can't tell from the inside.

    And yay to Rob become a playable!

    blogger has been eating my comments today. I'm just thankful I type them up in notepad first.

  10. Dani, well, if Rose and Joanna have another kid, I'm actually thinking of trying out "sperm donation" (ie. making one of the girls pregnant with a male Sim being the "father"). I haven't done that before. Linnea and Debbie had babies together (which I am glad I did then, just to get Cordy and Luc) and Betsy and Kimberly adopted both their girls. And I like trying new things out.

    Patience and Rob are living in the 4 unit version of the Cinderblock Row Homes.

    I type all my comments up in Flashnote first, when I remember! Blogger's been doing the same thing to me but I think I've caught them all.

  11. Tanja, I'm so sorry, I missed your comment!

    Sylvia would definitely have all of her mothers' attention as an only child but she could end up spoiled that way too! So I'll see how I feel about it next round.

    As for the family tree, no, Adrienne is no longer the mother. Rose and Joanna are Sylvia's legal parents. When Sylvia was born, I left her with Adrienne in the dorm, went into the Bentons' house and moved Sylvia in with them. They didn't adopt her, they only fostered, so during that time, Adrienne was still her legal mother. Once Joanna and Rose were ready to adopt, I used Inge's teleporter cat to put Sylvia up for adoption and then had Rose and Joanna call to adopt.

    I would do something similar with the sperm donation scenario I mentioned, just so both girls would be the parents, according to the game. Get one of them pregnant, give the baby up for adoption with the teleporter and then have them adopt it back.

  12. They're a sweet family... I can understand why not everyone would be comfortable with open adoption. The surrogacy thing sounds like a good idea. I've heard that in r/l its often the biological mother who gradually reduces contact with the child, as she moves on in her life.

    I only have one adopted child in my game who also has biological parents in the town (ie wasn't a townie); it was a closed adoption (using the teleporter), and I still haven't decided whether the biological parents will ever have contact with the child.

  13. Those last couple of pictures of them are adorable! It is a very cute family.

    But yikes, these are the things I don't think about. That Joanna was Adrienne's teacher! Awkward.

    (Also, heck if I can't remember my blogger password! I thought it was pretty simple, but I guess not.)

  14. Blackcat, that would make sense to me. I can't imagine how a bio-mum would have her own family and continue to keep in regular contact with a child she'd adopted out. That's something I might have to read into, because it didn't really occur to me until after I'd already written this!

    I figure adoptions via the regular Maxis system are all closed adoptions, but it might be interesting to do one the way you have, with bio-parents around. But I'd have to have a Sim fall pregnant and for it to make sense for her to give up her baby.

    Lunar, thanks, I think they're really cute together too. I was so excited to play them.

    Awkward is right! I like to pretend that Sullivan is a much larger town than what it is. Maybe 100,000 or so. It's situations like this that make it harder to do that though. I guess it could happen in real life, but what are the odds, huh?

  15. I love their new hairstyles! And I hadn't even noticed that Rose had put on weight until it was mentioned, lol! She looks great a little bigger (though it looks like she already lost it by the end?). I have so few "bigger" Sims in my game that when they do actually manage to get that way, I'm reluctant to let them lose it, lol!

    I'm happy to see Adrienne getting to spend time with Sylvia too, though I get why Joanna is feeling odd about it. I think I would feel odd about it too. Did they have the option of a closed adoption?

    Sweet family though, whether they end up with another or not! And I love their yard! :)

  16. Well, I considered closed adoption at one stage. So they kind of had the option. I never addressed whether it was an option or not in the story but I imagine it wouldn't have been. It's kind of up to the bio-mum, whether she wants to have an open adoption or not. If Adrienne wanted access and Rose and Joanna had said no, she would have been within her rights to find another couple to adopt Sylvia.

    Thanks. :) I didn't do most of their garden but I did do most of the part you can see!