Saturday, 16 July 2016

Small stakes

Round 36: December 2043 (Summer)

Amar Hamilton is 42, Adrienne is 36, Beau is 5 and Elisa is 1.
(Zane and Chloe are 32, Cole is 3 and Cary is 4 months old)

Narrated by Amar Hamilton

Adrienne and I have been married almost two years now, which still feels a little insane to me.

I spent my 20s and most of my 30s thinking I’d never get married at all. Being married for two years and feeling pretty good about it wasn’t really something I ever expected.

I guess I had enough time doing my own thing that I don’t really miss the single life too much. Things are pretty great.

We’ve spent all of this month so far getting ready for Christmas. Or I have, anyway. Adrienne has somehow managed to palm the entire task of Christmas shopping onto me.

She says she’s too busy working at the moment. It’s definitely true that she’s busy but she also just doesn’t want to do the gift shopping.

Beau has dropped multiple hints about what he wants, so he’s easy to shop for.

Elisa is a bit more of a mystery. She’s a little young to voice any real preference and I don’t have much experience with girls. We’ve got Beau, and we only have nephews and no nieces. A girl is totally new territory!

Elisa is a lot of fun though. I would have been happy to have another boy but I have to admit I was secretly hoping for a little girl.

Owning my own business, my hours are a little more flexible than Adrienne’s, so I end up being home alone with Elisa more than she is.

I have Austin working with me now and he’s perfectly capable of holding down the fort for a while, if I want to spend the day with Elisa.

I thought a girl would be a bit easier but Elisa is already more mischievous than Beau ever has been. With all the things she gets into, you wouldn’t think she had any toys at all.

I only stay home when I’m ahead with my work, because there’s no way I can get any done with Elisa around.

We’re working on getting her to be gentle with the dog at the moment, so we have one less thing to worry about.

Beau is a really great big brother. I don’t know if he was that excited about the prospect before Elisa came along but once she did, he was totally on board.

Elisa loves Beau about as much as he loves her. If he’s at home, she wants to be wherever he is.

She hates it when he’s doing his homework, because he absolutely won’t play with her then.

Beau is just finishing up kindergarten and he takes school very seriously!

He told us the other night that he’s actually sad he’ll have such a long break over Christmas.

He’s going into a new class next year, with a new teacher and he can’t wait.

He’s taken a particular interest in science of late. He wants to impress his new teacher with his knowledge.

He’s constantly asking questions about all sorts of sciency things Adrienne and I have no clue about.

We’re both more on the creative side, so Beau’s fascination with something so different is a surprise to us.

Maybe he’ll be a little more academic, like his Uncle Zane.

I think it’d be funny if Beau and Elisa turn out to be brainiacs and Cole and Cary end up as flighty, creative types.

Cole and Cary are a little young for anyone to be able to tell yet, though Cole is starting pre-school this coming year.

Cole will be in the same class with Chloe’s best friend’s twins, so she and Zane are pretty confident he’ll be happy there.

Zane is sort of relieved sending him off to school will mean paying their nanny slightly less money. Things have been a bit tight for them since Cary was born.

They moved to a larger house while Chloe was pregnant but now that they’ve moved in, they’re finding it’s still a little small.

With the boys getting bigger, the house is going to seem even smaller and they’d still like to have another baby one day.

Every time I’ve seen Zane lately, he’s been more and more worried about the situation.

Adrienne and I are also in a smaller place than we’d like but for now, it’s still working all right for us. But only just.

As Beau and Elisa get older, I think we’ll start to feel the walls closing in on us a little bit.

If we end up with another kid, we’ll definitely have to move, or maybe just extend. We do have a bit of room to do that.

But that’s a big maybe. In all likelihood, Elisa will be our last but we’ve agreed that if it happens, a third wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.


  • Title is from Small Stakes by Spoon.
  • I'm back! I'm so excited to finally have an update out again. I hope to get another one out in the next couple of weeks but we'll see how I go. I'm really keen to get to January birthdays. :D
  • Chloe and Zane really need to move. I always move my sims into these small houses and then forget that small houses don't really work very well for me! You guys will rarely see Chloe and Zane's place, seeing they're playable NPCs, so you'll just have to trust me. It's really frustrating to play a family of four in that place.
  • Adrienne and Amar could do with moving too. There are constant traffic jams and bottlenecks in the kitchen but also in the upstairs hallway. Which is a bigger problem, because then you get sims peeing themselves and falling asleep standing up, because they can't get to a toilet or beds. But I may be able to fix that by expanding the place a little. I'll play around and see what I can do.
  • Adrienne and Amar didn't try for a baby this session until once, at the very end. What's with that?! I don't think I've had sims try for a baby only sometimes before. Generally, mine either try every time or not at all in any one session. So I guess they think another kid might be nice but they won't be heartbroken if it doesn't happen? I might take Amar off BC next round and just see what happens. Adrienne will be 38 by then, so I'm not sure what their chances are. 


  1. Great to see you back with an update! Hope everything is okay now with your father. :)

    Looks like Amar and Adrienne have a lovely little family going on! Elisa is so gorgeous and I thought the shot of her getting into the toilet was funny, a bit eww but still funny. Nice to see Beau excited about school. Does he have the genius or ambitious trait? He will go far if he keeps up with his studies all through high school as well. I liked science as a kid too right up until they wanted us to dissect a dead frog! :|

    I enjoy playing in smaller houses because in my larger homes my sims always take forever in a day just to walk from one room to another. lol It always feels a bit more cozy to me too. Depends on the family I guess and how many sims living in the house and personality type. I try to make sure my smaller homes at least have a decent sized backyard. :)

    1. Well, Dad has quit smoking and is whinging about his new diet. But he's following it, for the most part, and is feeling well physically. Can't ask for much more than that. :) Thanks for asking.

      I actually haven't assigned any traits to Beau yet but he might be a good candidate for Ambitious, I think! We never dissected frogs - we did a rats instead. Ugh.

      Ha, I don't usually have that issue with larger homes but but I don't like houses to be too large either. I prefer some kind of happy medium. This house isn't too terrible, if you ignore the traffic jams (which happen once in a while even with enough space, because sims are idiots) but Chloe and Zane's place is a mess. Amar and Adrienne at least have a decent yard, as well as a large deck over the garage. I'll have to take a look at both places and see what I can do but I suspect Chloe and Zane will have to move.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Welcome back to blogging!!! This update was such a treat! Such a great update and especially nice to hear from Amar's POV. Layout issues are always a pain, regardless of the size of the house. I'm curious to see if you move them or extend the house since it's on a larger lot. Would you write the extension into the story?

    I think I remember that your Chloe and Zane are in the Zebra Rage house, which is a bit too small for a family of four with toddlers. It's one of my smaller 2x1 houses. In terms of smaller 2x1 houses for families with toddlers I prefer my Decaying Craftsman ( or Three Shades of Grey ( since there is more room. If they wouldn't mind a townhouse type home, then I like the Jessup Street ( and the Grayson Hill ( separated townhomes.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the update. I try to balance to alternate the POVs, so we hear from everyone, so it was Amar's turn this time. :)

      I played around with extending this house the other night. The kitchen and hallway are bigger now but just thinking now, I'm wondering if the space might work even better with a spiral staircase. I'll try it when I load the game. I don't think they'll need to move unless they have another kid. I had a look at adding another bedroom but I'd need to either gut the place or have some weird layout where there was no entry to a bedroom except through another bedroom, which I don't want. But they may not have a third.

      Thanks for the suggestions on houses for Chloe and Zane - I'm actually using a couple of them already, for other families. The thing with Chloe and Zane though is that they both already want more kids, so for my play style, I should really have foreseen them outgrowing a 2x1! I think they'd probably be best off in a four bedroom place, unless the three bedroom had enormous bedrooms. I don't love having my kids share but if there's enough room, I'll do it. :) I'm going to have a closer look at your separated townhouses though and see if they might work.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. I could see the home working with a spiral staircase if it aligns with the existing one. Or you could rotate the stairs 90 degrees so it's against the wall upstairs. The layout upstairs is a bit odd, but if you love that particular home for them, then a few easy layout changes and additions to the back (even a 1 or 2 tile extension can make miracles happen) would help-especially if you want to add another bedroom. If you want a four bedroom house for Chloe and Zane, then one of the Chicago Bungalows that I did for Maisie might help-or the 2x2 ranch house.

    3. No, rotating the stairs wouldn't work in this house, not without completing rearranging the walls and furniture both upstairs and downstairs. Which I'm not willing to do, especially given I'm not even confident I could make it work! It'll be spiral stairs or keeping the modular stairs exactly where they are, I'm thinking.

      I keep meaning to check out the bungalow for Chloe and Zane. I'm loading my game for the first time in several days right now...and forgot to install it. LOL. I'll make a note to do it next time. :) Thanks again!

  3. I was really glad to see this post... for some reason I no longer get email notifications so it was lucky I checked my old blogroll. And I'm glad to hear your dad's doing better, was able to quit smoking & make changes.

    Beau's so cute, and how funny (and true to life so many times) with him being interested in science when his parents are both creative types. Elisa looks like she's going to be quite a pistol. The pictures from Zane's balcony were cool, how they're right in the thick of city, it looks like. But small places are so tough with the routing.

    1. I always advertise my updates on Twitter and on Tumblr (usually much later on Tumblr - still haven't put this one up there but I'll do that after I'm done here). So those are two places you could look out for Sullivan, if your e-mail notifications aren't working. I don't have any control over those, unfortunately. :\ Thanks for the good thoughts on my Dad. :)

      You do often get these strange kids who don't seem to have many interests in common with the rest of the family! Elisa is actually a Science sim too though, so when she gets older and can show an interest, that'll be a nice little bonding thing for them.

      That's Amar's balcony, actually. It leads off from Beau's bedroom, which I'm sure will be much appreciated when he's a teenager. :) They're in a pretty built-up area of Exeter, though there is so emptiness from certain angles. I'm never truly finished with my hoods!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Because I've been MIA I don't know what's been going on with your dad, but I'm glad it's getting better now! I like small house generally, but then I don't really like my sims having more than 2 kids lol. So the small houses work pretty okay for the most part. All the kiddos in this one were so adorable!

    1. Thanks! I talked about what's going on with my dad in my post right before this one, just to explain my absence. So if you're terribly curious, you can check that. :)

      I probably shouldn't like my sims having more than two kids, just for my population's sake, but I'm a sucker! If my sims roll a baby want, I find it very hard to say no to them!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I'm so glad you're back to blogging again! I hope that means everything is calm and on the right track at home and with your dad.

    I'm glad Amar feels positive about his choice to settle down. He's grown into it well. Probably after a decade or two of being free and single, it probably gets old. Dating is a lot of effort, lol!

    Aww, I ADORE that shot of Elisa with her doggie! <3

    I love building small sim houses and apartments, but sims outgrow them so quickly because of routing and placement issues. It sucks to fall in love with the perfect house for a particular sim or couple and then have to decide between keeping the house or expanding their family if there's no more room to build on. On my island, I built the cutest little beach bungalow, but I have such a hard time filling it because I wonder who would end up staying there for long. It's only one bedroom, lol!

    1. Thanks, Laura, it's good to be back! Things with Dad are chugging along. It's a long-term condition and is something he has to look at living with, rather than curing himself of, and he's doing pretty well on that front. Much better than I'd expect, for someone with his history of ignoring doctors!

      I guess some people flit around from person to person for longer than Amar did but it does seem like something that would get old, at least to me! He and Adrienne seem quite contented together. They were dating long enough before they got married that I imagine they were quite sure, lol!

      Preach! I actually built a one-bedroom house which I love but I just have no use for it. Even my single sims tend to live with roomies. I need at least two bedrooms in all my lots. I don't know why I built this thing, lol!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. It's such a pleasure to read an update from you. Kind of makes everything seem calm and in order. I hope your father keeps up the lifestyle changes he needs to make but I sympathize: habits can be so hard to break and new ones hard to keep.

    Writing the update from Amar's POV was a great choice. It puts any doubt about his choice completely aside. I love Elisa's sandals, and the awning on the dog house!! OMG that is wonderful! It's been a while since I tried to put a family into a small house. I have one now but doubt it's going to work once he's old enough to go up and down the stairs by himself - hallway and landing are just too tight. What you've done with the place looks great!

    1. Thank you, that's such a nice thing for you to say! I have my fingers crossed for Dad. It's all up to him and we just have to hope he sticks with everything.

      Heh, I squeed over Elisa's little sandals when I put that outfit on her too! It makes sense she'd have super-cute accessories, with a designer mother and everything. ;) The dog house is from TSR, I believe. It's an oldie but a goodie!

      I don't know exactly what the house you're talking about is like but the fact that Adrienne and Amar have a toddler (and a dog) is what made this layout so difficult to work with. The dog just stands there like an idiot for no reason and Elisa frequently falls asleep in the hallway or has a tantrum at the top of the stairs. It would actually be easier if she could go up and down the stairs on her own!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. Glad to see you back and good to hear your dad is doing better!

    Heh, I always squeeze sims into small houses and regret it when I also let them run wild with ACR. :)

    I kind of hope they get a third child but I can see them being satisfied with two as well. I think a lot of couples have those feelings once they've reached the amount of kids they/society find acceptable. A sort of fine either way-feeling.

    1. Thank you. :)

      Glad I'm not the only one! I've made some changes to Amar and Adrienne's place that should make things easier, though I couldn't do a ton without gutting the place. If you get your wish and they have a third, they'll definitely need to move. But I'll probably keep Amar on BC and they'll only get a third if they have an oops. I think they'll be happy with or without another. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. I am so happy to see several updates from you in my feed! I have missed you these past few months. I'm happy to see that your Dad is trucking along, and sticking with the healthy choices.

    I just adore these two together, I can't believe their marriage has been for such a small period of time, but they have been together for quite a while now. I just can't get over how domestic Amar is, what a cute Dad!! :D Beau is just totally adorable, and Elisa seems to have her parents fire.

    I love that his brother has kids, and they are similar in age, and that Amar is so close with his brother too. That was really a good addition to his family/storyline to add him in. It's too bad that his brother just moved though and the house is already too small, I remember the nursery being really cute at one of their houses, if it isn't their new one. Hopefully they can find a way to make it work, and that Amar and Adrienne won't have to move ether with your adjustments, unless you want to move them! I'm always fifty/fifty when it comes to moving house, and decorating a new one. :)

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Maisie. :)

      Yeah, it's only just two years as of today's birthdays! They were shacking up a while before that though, which makes it seem a lot longer! I'm curious as to what Elisa will be like as she gets older. In a lot of ways, she's similar to Beau but she has half the nice points, which should be interesting!

      Amar taking so long to settle down has really closed the age gap between him and his brother - they're roughly at the same life stage now, despite being ten years apart. I did duck into Zane and Chloe's place again the other day though and I managed to move some things around and I'm a lot happier with it. It was one of those things where you go in and think "WHY did I put that there?!?" But if they want another kid...they'll still need a new place! But as you say, the prospect of a new house to decorate is a nice little bonus, if they do move. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!