Sunday, 24 June 2012


Round 33: October 2038 (Spring)
last update/next update

James Novak is 63 and Madelyn is 58.
(Maia is 36, Aaron and Calvin are 35, Ethan is 32, Connor and Lila are 25, Amy and Willow are 3, Natalie and River are 1)

Narrated by Madelyn Novak

Natalie is our youngest grandchild and it’s been so lovely getting to know her.

Being that Calvin and Aaron adopted her, there’s no genetic link but she reminds me so much of Aaron when he was tiny anyway.

She’s so, so shy. Painfully shy, almost, which is the same way I’d describe Aaron. Even now, she sometimes hides her face when someone tries to talk to her.

Amy warmed up to us quite quickly when she first joined the family but we’ve had to work a bit harder with Natalie.

Finally though, Natalie is getting comfortable with us. We can’t imagine not having her in the family now.

Aaron and Calvin are so elated. They’ve made such a lovely little family for themselves.

The girls are growing up so fast. Amy will be 4 in January, which I can’t believe.

At the moment, Aaron and Calvin are getting ready to send Amy to pre-school. She’ll start not long after her birthday, in February.

They’re getting a bit nervous about it, which is natural. It’s hard to send your little ones off to school for the first time.

Calvin is going to find it more of an adjustment than Aaron. Aaron works a standard work week but Calvin is home for three days in the middle of the week. Up until now, he’s spent all that time with the girls and now it’ll just be him and Natalie.

Amy hasn’t had much experience being cared for outside of the home, so they’re worrying about that too. She's going to be just fine though, I know it. Her cousin Willow will start school at the same time, so they’ll have each other.

Amy and Willow get along so well too, so I think they’ll absolutely love going to school and getting to see each other every day.

Aaron and Calvin do a lot of reciprocal babysitting with Ethan and Maia, partly so the girls can spend more time together.

They’re trying to get Natalie used to being around kids other than Amy but at the moment, she still prefers to play by herself most of the time and doesn't pay much attention to River or Willow.

Last time we visited, Maia and Ethan told us they’d started trying for a third child.

I was quite surprised to hear that because I thought they might have been done after River was born.

They’d been going back and forth about it for a while but given Maia will be 37 next year, they finally decided they didn’t have the luxury of waiting a few years and then seeing how they felt about it.

I hope they’re successful, because I know it’s not a given. I had Aaron and Ethan in my 20s, so I alway fell pregnant fairly quickly. I don’t know how long this could take for Maia.

They’re both quite optimistic about their chances though, so I’m going to try to think that way too.

Deep down, James is happy for them too but he’s concerned about them as well. He’s worried they don’t have enough room in their house for another person and that they don’t have enough money to move either.

Ethan and Maia are just not the types to stress much about money. They just go with the flow but James think they should build up more of a nest egg before they have another child.

It’s not something James understands at all but as long as Maia and Ethan can put food on the table, they’re happy. In their view, a nest egg is nice but not necessary.

James doesn't need to understand completely though, as long as Maia and Ethan are on the same page.

And from what I can tell, they are. I meet up with Maia every now and then when we both have time at lunch and she’d tell me if they were arguing.

I really enjoy our catch-ups, when we can swing them. It’s been very nice getting to know Maia away from James, Ethan and the kids.

My mother-in-law is lovely but we’ve never been particularly close, so being so friendly with Maia was not something I was expecting.

I’m so glad about the way it’s turned out though. I couldn’t ask for a better daughter-in-law.

Lila could end up my daughter-in-law one day, seeing she and Connor have seemed quite serious and stable for a good while now.

I’d love to have the same kind of relationship with her as I do with Maia but I think we’re just too different.

After we’ve exhausted all the options for small talk, we’re usually not left with much to talk about.

James adores her and I think the feeling is mutual. Lila is very keen to advance at work, which James admires.

James has been in business for over 30 years now, so she laps up any piece of advice he can give her.

I’m still hoping Lila and I will find more in common as time goes on but for now, I’m just happy Connor is happy.

I wasn't sure I'd ever see Connor with anybody the way he is with Lila. I'm so glad they got together.

My birthday was at the beginning of this month and I’d received some presents on the day, so I really wasn’t expecting anything else. James had other ideas though and booked a weekend away in Three Lakes for us, as a belated extra birthday gift.

It was freezing up there but the whole point of going there is to enjoy the great outdoors. I definitely wasn’t going to let cold temperatures stop us from enjoying our vacation.

There were too many things to do and see to stay inside. It was such a gorgeous place and I really want to go back one day.

We went fishing, which I really enjoyed. I haven’t had many opportunities to try that out but I’d like to go again sometime.

James was much better at it than I was though!

James had already been to Three Lakes for spring break, back in college. He found it hadn’t changed much and was able to show me around a bit.

He and his friends camped out then but we’re a little bit better off than we were back then, so we stayed in a very nice hotel.

I actually wouldn’t have minded sleeping in a tent but I knew James wouldn’t do anything like that these days. We’re probably both getting a little old for that now anyway.

We had such a wonderful trip! I’ve been trying to convince James to buy a vacation house there so we can go back more often but I know my chances of that are approximately zero!

I took a few extra pics I didn't end up using when Amy and Natalie came to visit their grandparents.
It was all autonomous, so I had to capture it!


  • Title is from Camellia by Verbena.
  • Another holiday, because James and Madelyn are quite well off and certainly have the money for it. James is still a cheapskate though, so no vacation house for Madelyn any time soon. ;)
  • Maia and Ethan tried for a baby! Yay! They weren't successful but it was just their first try, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that they're luckier next time. I would love Maia to have a mini-Maia. I might as well try to get that nose in another time, just in case it dies out completely with River.
  • Two more updates until the end of the round and I can't wait! This round feels like it's been going forever, lol!


  1. Another baby? I'm surprised that they tried as well. The vacation looks like a lot of fun, cold, but fun.

    1. I was kind of expecting Maia and Ethan to try, for some reason. I guess because their kids are still quite young, they have a better chance of trying than Charlie and Camilla do. But I hope both couples get a third child one of these days. ;)

      It's been pretty cold here of late, so I guess I felt like making my Sims suffer it for a bit! LOL.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I would love for Mia and Ethan to have another baby! Hopefully they will be able to get that third!

    I really want that vacation lot! I forgot to download it when Maisie first offered it up! Glad they had a great vacation. And getting a home there would be great!

    1. I hope Maia and Ethan eventually conceive another baby too. I'll have to pop in one more time before I play them next round, to age up Willow, so I have my fingers crossed they try again then. :)

      If you want that lot, make sure you look on Dani's blog and not Maisie's. ;) Maisie has some great lots but this one is Dani's handiwork. This is the first time I've visited it but I think I'm going to dump the EA campground and just use this one. It's way better!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I love the vacation photos, they seem like such a great couple who enjoy each other's company. :)

    1. Madelyn and James are opposites in some ways but they tend to complement each other for the most part, instead of clashing. I like them together a lot - it's been an interesting ride.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. I hope Maia gets pregnant! That'd be super sweet to have a mini Maia. And the girls, Amy and Natalie are super cute!! Love little shy Natalie, and am excited to see Amy in school. The vacation looked like a lot of fun, I liked it the view In the last pic and the way you posed madayln and James. Very sweet picture.

    1. I hope so too! I'd love a mini-Maia, as I said, but I won't be too sore if the baby looks like Ethan instead. ;)

      I love the kids Aaron and Calvin ended up with. Both Amy and Natalie seem in some way that they could be biologically related to the boys - they really do fit into the family so well.

      That last picture gave me major problems and I had to completely change the angle but it turned out nicely at the end. I might frame it. ;)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. The babies are all so adorable! I was happy to get a good look at Natalie and I'm excited to get Amy and Willow in school too. Nice vacation. You'd think James would loosen up a bit and buy the vacation home but I can't say I'm surprised. :)
    Wow, you're almost finished the round? I'm shocked. There are so many houses I tend to lose track. *sheepish*

    1. I'm quite keen to see all these kids as they grow up. I always start getting antsy at the end of the round!

      Madelyn knows she's been lucky to get James to fork out the money for a vacation a few times in their lives. He would never buy a house that, for most of the time, would just sit there unused. That's a frivolous purchase, in his view.

      Heh, yep, almost finished the round! You can always check my play schedule in the side bar to see who's coming up and who's already done for the round, if you're getting confused.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. May I just say, I love that the grandchildren came in pairs. It's nice to have cousins close in age. It makes it a little unfortunate that Connor's kid(s) will be so much younger, though.

    1. Yeah, I like having these little clusters of cousins around the same age. It's sweet. Maybe Connor will end up with twins and they'll have a built-in playmate. ;)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Yay! Toddler spam! They're all so cute. It's nice to see so many happy couples. I am also excited to hear that Maia and Ethan tried for a baby! Hopefully that means they'll do it again and succeed. ;) I would love to see a mini-Maia, as well.

    Awww, I'm glad Madelyn has a good relationship with Maia! I love my in-laws. They are amazing to us, so I enjoy seeing these two have a good relationship outside of just being in-laws.

    I love that last picture of them looking out past the fence. So pretty!

    1. In my experience with ACR, usually when a couple tries once, they'll try again. Of course that doesn't mean they'll be successful but I'm hoping Maia and Ethan will be. :) I'd love to see a third from them.

      That's awesome that you have such good in-laws! It's not something I see a lot in real life, to be honest. My sister's boyfriend loves our parents but most of the other in-law relationships I see range from cautious to adversarial! I have some of those in the game as well but I couldn't see Maia and Madelyn being that way. Madelyn's always had it a little more together than Maia but I see them as quite similar otherwise.

      I really like that last picture too. It got reblogged on Tumblr, which I was so geekily excited about, lol!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. I always loves those get togethers, and seeing toddlers and children play together! I try to do it in my game as well, but it always looks like so much more fun on yours :)

    It's nice that Madelyn and Maia have such a good relationship, it's not something you see a lot in real life, though I can honestly say that my sister's boyfriend has pretty good in-laws :)

    I really hope Maia and Ethan are succesfull concieving a 3rd one! I really want them to have another one! And I'm aware that my wants aren't to be considered here, but still :)

    1. Oh, I don't know. Your kids look like they have a pretty good time in your get-togethers too!

      LOL, not that you're biased about your sister's boyfriend's in-laws or anything though! Yes, it's not something I see much in real life either but I don't see Maia or Madelyn as capable of holding a grudge or anything like that. They're both very easy-going and have a lot in common.

      Keep your fingers crossed for Maia and Ethan and maybe we'll hear some good news soon. ;) They're trying on their own, so it's something they want as well.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  9. That's great that Madelyn gets along so well with Maia. Boy, I wish I knew how that felt! My parents and my husband get along great but me and the in-laws butt heads a lot. I haven't spoken to them in months and it's awesome! I haven't felt this stress free in a long time!

    Anyway, back to the update :p. Your empty nesters have such full lives. I can't wait til mine start having grandkids and such so I have more to focus on during their updates. Glad to see that Natalie has finally warmed up to her grandparents and hopefully she'll get used to being around other kids.

    It's so cool that Lila and Connor are still going strong and I enjoy Madelyn and James' vacation. I already said it but that last shop on the campground was gorgeous! I didn't think of taking a shot from that angle. They look really relaxed and refreshed.

    1. LOL, yeah, my mother is like that with my dad's mum (and with his dad, when he was still alive)! This is the example I grew up with, so Maia and Madelyn would definitely be unusual in my world. It's nice to have a pair like Maia and Madelyn though.

      Empty nesters are definitely easier when there are grandchildren around! I was often at a bit of a loss with Madelyn and James before Amy and Willow came along! Ditto Naomi and Owen, but now there's Beau. ;) Anyway, I'm glad you guys seem to enjoy the empty nester posts. :)

      Heh, it's funny, but the only reason I took the shot from that angle is that the pose looked really strange from every other angle! It turned out to be the best angle for showing off the lot though, lol!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!