Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chapter 6-6: Whatcha Say

                After Miles left, Flynn became cranky and ill-tempered. He was too young to understand that daddy had a job that meant he couldn't be there all the time. All he knew was that Daddy wasn’t there. Grandpa tried to take over the role of Miles though, making sure to spend time with Flynn at night and give him lots of kisses.

                The attention Flynn got from his grandpa helped sometimes. Grandpa loved him. Mommy loved him. So why didn't Daddy love him? The longer Miles was gone, the more infrequent the temper tantrums became.

                Renata couldn't believe that her little girl was already going to be a toddler. Life was flying by so quickly now that Gemma was born. She sat with her baby girl in the rocking chair upstairs, hoping that Gemma would still want to be rocked and cuddled as much as she did now once she grew up a little.

                With a cake and balloons set out to mark the occasion, Renata blew the candles out with her baby. They had decided to just throw a small get together for the household.

                Gemma was a good blend of her parents, with her father’s red hair and her mother’s green eyes. Now that she was old enough to crawl around on her own, Gemma would be able to play with her cousin. She didn't look too sure about it though.

                The morning had been rainy but the rain had evaporated as afternoon crept upon them and Flynn loved playing outside when it had rained. He loved splashing in the puddles and rubbing the fallen leaves together and hearing the sound they made. Gemma didn't like rain or wet very much so she and Renata had stayed indoors, coloring. As small rays of visible sun started to disappear completely, Evangeline scooped up her son and carried him upstairs for a bath and his bed time story. As her phone rang, she set her wet, wriggling son down so she could answer without dropping him. It was Miles.   
                “Hey you! You’re just in time to say goodnight to Flynn.”
                “You’re home? Early?” He had just gotten in from a long bus ride with his team mates. “Of course we’ll come over.”

                “Flynn, do you want to go see daddy?”
                As fast as his chubby toddler legs could carry him, he ran out of the nursery. “Dadda! Mama, go?” She laughed and scooped him back up. 

                She decided to take the stroller and walk there. She should have realized that, regardless of the walk time, Flynn would want to see his daddy as soon as possible. It didn't take long before he was showing signs of a temper tantrum so she hailed a cab and stuffed the stroller in the trunk. Donovan had warned her that giving in to Flynn’s tantrums was almost a guarantee that he would keep having them but she was just excited about seeing Miles as Flynn was so she told herself she’d be strong next time.

                “Hey little guy. You’re getting so big!” Evangeline sat on the couch and watched Miles play with their son. Even though he was travelling a lot of the time, when he was around, he was a great father.

                “I know you've missed each other but we should really get home and let him get some sleep. He’ll be extra cranky tomorrow otherwise." She sighed, getting off the couch to get their things and head home.
                “Well, I was hoping you guys could spend the night.” She watched Miles go to the small closet and pull out a travel crib. “I got this before I left but we haven’t had the opportunity to use it yet. We can set it up down here and we’ll still hear him in the loft.”

                They got Miles changed and ready for bed and she let Miles tuck him in while she went upstairs to wait for him. When he climbed the stairs a few minutes later, she threw herself into his arms.

                “You’re a wonderful dad, do you know that?”
                “I try. I wish this place was big enough for you guys to stay here all the time.”
                “I know. It’s okay though. My dad needs us at home and with you gone all the time and Emerson doing his own thing, Renata and I really rely on each other too.”
                “This works for you?”
                “Surprisingly, yeah. I’m happy. I love you and I love Flynn.”
                “And I love you both.”

                They climbed into bed and he wrapped his arms around her. Even though he was exhausted from traveling and spending hours training, he wasn't ready to fall asleep. He was content to sit and hold her.
                “Have you ever thought about us having more kids,” he asked, after laying in silence for a while.
                “You want more kids?”
                “Well, yeah. I always wanted siblings growing up. I want Flynn to have a brother or a sister.” She smiled deviously at him. “What?”
                “We could always stop trying not to have kids.” He frowned at her and she smirked at the confusion on his face. Suddenly, realization hit him and she gasped with a laugh as he pulled her to him, throwing the cover over them.

                The next morning, she gathered Flynn up and put the travel crib back in the closet. Miles pulled her in for one last kiss and then she and Flynn were off back home.

                Gemma was much more inquisitive than her cousin. When Renata read her books, Gemma sat and scrunched up her nose, trying to take in every bit of information she could. It seemed that the first word she had learned was why and constantly asked about things.

                “Why don’t we go for a walk today? You haven’t seen daddy in a while so let’s go over there before he has to go to work.” Gemma squealed and laughed, agreeing in her own way.

                It was a beautiful day, with just a hint of coolness in the air that indicated winter was just around the corner. Bundled in her coat and strapped into the stroller, Gemma hung as far out as she could, pointing at all the things she could see on the walk to her daddy’s house.

                When they finally arrived at Emerson’s apartment, Renata was disgusted by the state they found it in. She didn't even want to put Gemma down but the little girl squirmed until her mother gave in.
                “Emerson, this place is disgusting.”
                “Wanna clean it for me?”
                “I’m serious! How can you live with mounds of dirty clothes on the floor. Even the poor dog has fleas, I can see them jumping on her from here.”
                “I don’t come to your house and tell you how to take care of it.”
                “No and you wouldn’t have to either. You need to get your sh…stuff together. I don’t want Gemma in this mess of a place.”
                “I’m busting my ass here,” he ignored the look from Renata as she reminded him of ‘little ears’, “trying to get my name out there. I make crap money and, only with the help of Kieran, can I afford to live on my own.”
                “You chose to move out!”
                “That doesn’t make it any easier. I’m trying my best here.”
                “Your best is this,” she gestured to the dirty room. A scowl darkened his face and she realized how what she said would have sounded to him. “Wait, I’m sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I just want Gemma to be able to visit without worrying about flea bites or anything else.”

                “Oh look! I used to watch that show when I was a kid.” Evangeline couldn't believe that the same cartoons she used to watch were still on TV. Donovan thought back to then, when he and Camille were still coping with raising twins and trying to find their way to each other. It had been a long road and, at one point, he had wondered if her stubbornness would ever relent enough to let her love him but it did. He’d not change any of the choices he’d made.

                “Cow moo! Baabaa sheep. Rabby no sown!”
                “No sown, no sown!” Flynn doesn't like his cousin pretending her rabbit is a cow. He knows that’s not the noise a rabbit makes. Why won’t she listen?

                When she and Miles had stopped using any form of contraception, Evangeline hadn't expected that she would get pregnant right away. She was surprised when she began experiencing morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms but a home test confirmed that she was indeed pregnant.

                Even though he was retired, Donovan still looked over articles freelance for the newspaper and edited them, sometimes contributing to a small discussion column on the state of affairs in St. Claire. He was going through the latest news when the computer fizzled and started smoking. The laptop was years old and he should have upgraded it ages ago. All of a sudden, he felt a strange sensation.

                Renata was in the living room, playing with the kids while Evangeline made lunch when they heard the thump in the study. Both rushed in and stared at the floor. Donovan couldn't figure out what they were looking at until he too glanced down at his body. “Oh. That’s why they rushed in.” He saw the Grim Reaper arrive. Funny, he didn't remember seeing him when Camille passed away. “Maybe he’s only visible to those of us going with him.

                Renata stared at her best friend, overcome with grief. The pregnancy hormones weren’t helping. Come to think of it, she had been pregnant when Camille had died too. She looked at her, trying to decide what to say and then decided to leave her in her grief and went to call the funeral home instead.

                Together even in death.

                After the death of his father, Emerson became a more regular visitor at his old home. Donovan’s kids had meant the world to him and Emerson didn't want to miss the chance to have a similar relationship with his own daughter.

                During one such visit, Renata, who usually busied herself with housework or other busy work found herself being approached by Emerson.
                “Renata, I’ve been an ass.” The corner of her mouth turned as she tried to hide a smile of agreement. “I want to give us a try, a real one.”
                “I don’t know Emerson. You hurt me.”

                Unbidden, Donovan’s last words of advice popped into her head. You’re just as guilty as he is of how your relationship stands. Emerson saw the hesitation and took both her hands in his, hoping to convey his sincerity.
                “I know I did. I’d like to make it up to you. Maybe we could go on a real date, be an exclusive couple and see where it goes.”
                “Let’s take it slow. A date is a good place to start.”

                Evangeline, off to work, wasn't very thrilled about the chance that Emerson and Renata were taking. She loved her brother and she loved her best friend but they’d proven, on more than one occasion, that they couldn't make it work. With two children in the household and a third on the way, the fallout, should the relationship take a wrong turn, might cause an irrevocable rift between the adults that would affect the children even more.

                “Miles, where are you guys?”
                “Last stop and the last game of the trip. I’ll be home Friday night.”
                “I’m due the middle of the next week! You sure you guys won’t be delayed.”
                “I promise baby. I’ll be there.

                “Your brother or sister will be along very soon. Are you ready to be the big brother?”
                Flynn listened to his mommy’s tummy, feeling the baby move around in there. “Brudder,” he smiled up at her.

                The next night, Evangeline awoke with labor pains. She was only about a week early, nothing to be concerned about. She briefly wondered if they were false labor pains until the next wave washed over her. She breathed through the pain and swiftly got dressed, making her way out to the car. She knew she shouldn't drive while in labor but Renata was the only adult in the house with two toddlers and it was after midnight. No need to wake them up to all traipse to the hospital so she drove herself.

                As she entered the hospital, she wished that Miles could be there. He’d promised. Then she remembered that he’d promised to be there for her due date. It wasn't his fault his child had decided to come early. She would sure have a surprise for him when he got back.

Chapter 6.5                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.7

Last roll revealed! Number of children for this generation is three so this will be the last birth for this generation. It made me really sad to realize that Donovan was the last member of Generation 5 still kicking around my neighborhood and now he is gone too.

This chapter should have been out a week ago but I was experiencing some super long load times and bad lag so I finally went ahead and cleaned up my files, got rid of some stuff, and then merged my CC. I went from having 4.35GB and 4,216 files to having 3.52GB and 393 files, mostly by combining with S3PE. My load time went from 15-20 minutes to 3 so I am quite pleased. I've not got my poses in my folder anymore so I'm going to have to try to be better about knowing what I want to shoot and then putting them in. My Poses folder is ridiculously unorganized though and I don't like the idea of needing to go through it. So it's being put off for the moment.

A small "outtake" if you will. Camille does this, usually every full moon. She comes out of her urn and then sits in the nursery until she has to go back in the urn. She doesn't wander the house, doesn't play with things, just sits and watches the babies for her time back in world of the living. It makes me super sad.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chapter 6-5: Howlin' For You

                While Renata was informing Emerson that they were about to have a baby together, Miles was pulling Evangeline into the study to inform her of some news of his own.

                “I know this isn't the best time but I've been promoted.” She grinned from ear to ear so, before she could get too excited, he rushed on. “It means I’ll be traveling, a lot. We’re playing games all over SimNation so I won’t be home very often.” He winced as her face fell. He hated disappointing her.

                “Are you fucking kidding me?” Neal, hearing the commotion crept a little closer to the door to try and eavesdrop without being noticed. “I just gave birth to your son and you’re leaving me? I thought we were going to make this work?”
                “Evey, we can. It’ll just be a little tougher, but we can.”
                “You know what, no. I've done long distance before. It doesn't work.” She stared pointedly at him and stalked off. “We’re done. You can see Flynn whenever you’re around.”

                Miles didn't know what to do with himself. He hadn't planned on the conversation going that horribly. He knew she wasn't going to be thrilled about it but he had honestly thought that they would figure things out.
                “Hey there! Don’t look so down! Let’s dance.” The pretty brunette with the oddly purple eyes started dancing with him and, in an attempt to save face, he obliged even though his heart wasn't in it. When he noticed Evangeline watching from the other side of the counter, he smiled a crooked, half smile at her. She glared and walked away.

                “I’m glad you could come,” Evangeline purred at Neal.
                “I was happy you invited me. Would you honor me with a dance, for old times’ sake?” The music changed to a slow pace and Neal pulled her in close. She wanted to make Miles jealous and what better way to accomplish it than dance with her ex-husband? She was so busy watching Miles over Neal’s shoulder that Evangeline missed the look of victory and joy on Neal’s face.
                Lost in her thoughts, she slid to him, still thinking about Miles. I’m not mad he’s leaving; I’m worried. When I left, I cheated on Neal. Miles is going to be traveling all over SimNation. Lots of girls will want a famous athlete and will throw themselves at him. What if he cheats on me? I deserve it.

                “Neal, thank you. You always were wonderful at dancing.” She saw Miles crossing the room to her and she prepared herself for another confrontation.

                “Evangeline, let’s try to make this work.” What, no arguing? Her surprise left her speechless which Miles took as an opening. “I love you. I want to be with you but I have to follow my dream.” The irony was not lost on her. She had said the same thing to Neal when she wanted to leave for school. Neal had let her go and look at how it had turned out. Still, would it be fair to ask Miles to give his dreams up because I fucked up my marriage?
                “Okay?” He had been hopeful but he had never expected her to really agree. He hadn't wanted to give up so easily though. His grin spread from ear to ear. “Okay!” He pulled her in for a kiss, in front of the whole room, not caring who bothered watching (though he was very much hoping Neal was paying close attention). His smile was infectious and soon, she too was beaming.

Adventures in Mommyhood: A New Mommy’s Tale. Needing to get some thoughts and worries off her chest, Renata started a blog about her pregnancy. She was sure that it wouldn't amount to much but writing out her fears and hopes, even if no one read them putting a voice to her thoughts would do some good for her.

                Later that week, Donovan sat down with Evangeline and explained that he was ready to retire. He and Camille had planned on retiring together and taking a vacation but they’d never had the time. He wanted to stay home and spend time with his grandchildren now.

                “Renata, I have no idea what to do. I was going to be a journalist but all college taught me was that I hated it. I never really figured out what I do want and with daddy retiring I’m going to need some sort of income.”
                “Why don’t you get a job at the bistro? You’re an amazing cook!”
                “I…guess. I never really thought about cooking as a job.”
                “Once I have this baby, I’ll get a job to help out, promise!.”
                Evangeline laughed. “One of us might have to stay home and take care of the kids, unless we want to pay for daycare.”

                The next day, Evangeline sifted through her closet, looking for a nice outfit for interviews. She realized she didn't have much business attire and frowned. I’ll just have to improvise. She grabbed a berry colored shift dress, remembering her mother had some nice blazers. Opening her parents’ wardrobe, she inhaled, smelling the scent of her mother. Smiling, she picked out a white blazer, knowing her mother would be with her for luck on the interview.

                Even though the interview had gone well and she had met the qualifications, it was still a welcome surprise when she got a call offering her the position. Her first day of work left her feet tired and clothes smelling of grease but she liked her coworkers well enough.

                When she got home, the first thing she did was scoop up her son. “Mommy missed you,” she cooed at him. He gave her a big, toothless grin and giggled at the silly voices Mommy was making.

                Renata froze, fork in midair, as she felt the pains of labor begin. She knew she would have to move and get up so she could get to the hospital but, at that moment, freezing seemed to be the best option.

                Evangeline finally got a taxi called and loaded her friend into it. Donovan had agreed to stay home with Flynn.
                “Em, your child is about to be born. You better get your ass to the hospital before then.”

                Evangeline was waiting outside when her brother arrived, breathless from rushing across downtown from the music studio he was working at.
                “Is she still in there?”
                Evangeline stood, stretching her legs a bit. “Yeah, still no sign of baby Avendale.”

                He went inside and checked on Renata. She sent him back out, not wanting anyone in the delivery room with her besides her doctor and any needed medical staff. She finally emerged a few hours later with a little bundle of pink; a girl named Gemma. Emerson pulled out his guitar and serenaded the most important woman in his life.

                “Emerson, she’s just so, so perfect,” Renata gushed when he came over to check on his daughter. “She’s always happy and smiling. She doesn't get too fussy. She’s amazing.”

                Emerson picked up his daughter, holding her close. Renata was right, Gemma was perfect in every way from her tiny nose to her teensy ten fingers.

                “We really need to look into getting a car.” Donovan still had his motorcycle, of course, but it was out of the question for going anywhere with an infant. Riding with the babies in their laps wasn't the preferred method of travelling but a car seat wouldn't fit in the taxi.

                Donovan was hosting a pool party to celebrate the end of the summer and Leisure Day. The playpen was unpacked and placed on a shady awning so the babies could attend as well. As Renata placed Gemma in the playpen, she saw Emerson arrive with Delilah. She knew they’d never discussed anything about their relationship but she had hoped that having his daughter might spark some kind of conversation about their relationship. I guess there is nothing to discuss.

                Evangeline was three seconds away from pulling her brother aside and having a discussion with him herself. Has he not gotten to know Kieran at all? Does he not realize that Delilah is the girl Kieran is pining for? She could see Kieran watching the two of them make out by the pool and it sparked her fuse to see her friend trying so hard to be happy. She remembered that he had told her, a long time ago, that he loved Delilah enough to want her to be happy, even if it wasn't with him. But knowing and being happy is different than having it shoved in your face!

                Renata, nice to everyone, glared at Delilah through her sunglasses. Seemingly oblivious to the turmoil her relationship with Emerson was causing, Delilah blinked, surprised at the evident hostility. She smiled a cautious smile and made a beeline for the safe haven of the other side of the pool.

                Evangeline, unable to take it any longer, pulled her brother aside. “Do you seriously not think?”
                “What are you talking about?”
                “You realize that you just had a baby with Renata, right?”
                “Yeah, so?”
                “So? So!” Evangeline fumed. “You had a baby with her! That’s pretty intimate.”
                “It was a one time thing.” He quickly rushed forward as his sister’s eyes clouded with rage. “I don’t regret it, if that’s what you think! I love Gemma. I wouldn't take it back for the world.”
                “What about Renata?”
                “We’re friends. We always have been.” Astonishingly, his sister laughed. “What?”
                “For a smart guy, you’re probably the stupidest man I know.”

                He sat, thinking about what his sister had said. He could not comprehend how exactly he was being stupid. Okay…so we’re friends. We hook up, one night. Still friends. Still talk and hangout. Nothing changes. Then she tells me she’s pregnant. I’m a part of Gemma’s life. I didn’t ask for official court agreements. We’re being amicable about it. A light bulb suddenly clicked on. Oh! She wants to be appreciated more for taking the majority of the responsibility for Gemma!

                He smiled, happy to have figured it out. While everyone was preoccupied, he popped into the convenience store next door, purchasing a small bouquet of purple daisies. This should make her smile.

                He went back and found her over by the playpen. “Renata, I just want to say thank you for being such a great mom.” 
                “What’s this?” She raised her eyebrows, confused by the gesture.
                “Flowers. For taking care of Gemma.” Her eyes widened in disbelief, then narrowed to angry slits.
                “No. Take your flowers and give them to your girlfriend. They match her eyes perfectly.” Her scorn was palpable and he walked away, more confused than before.

                Evangeline was lounging on the couch, watching the cooking channel when she heard something on the porch. She muted the TV, listening. She heard it again, it sounded like footsteps on the stairs. She moved to the entry of the foyer, peering down the hallway. She gasped when she saw who was there.

                She flung the door open and leapt at him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “You’re here! I’ve missed you!” Miles was back from his training camp.

                “I told you I wouldn’t miss Flynn’s birthday,” he answered between kisses. “Can I see him?”

                She led him up the dark stairs to the nursery, where both Gemma and Flynn were sleeping. The open door let in enough moonlight for Miles to see his son, as he stood watching his small chest rise and fall with each breath.

                They held the birthday party the next day before Evangeline had to leave for work. Emerson approached Renata, hoping to glean some more information from her about her anger. She didn't feel like talking though and tried to brush him off.
                “Seriously, what’s your problem?” The mutter under his breath did not go unheard and she spun towards him.
                “Emerson, we hooked up. I got pregnant. Not once did you think to ask me if I might want a real relationship with you? Instead, you find a new girlfriend and flaunt her in front of me. We’ve been on a relationship teeter-totter since university but we always pretend it never happens. I’m done pretending. You can still see Gemma whenever you want. You’re welcome to come by anytime. But we’re through.”

                Flynn aged up amidst the chaos, unaware of the turmoil between his uncle and aunt.

                “You’re just so adorable! Mommy doesn't want to leave you to go to work. But I have to.” She snuggled her son closed, tickling his sides before handing him off to his grandfather so she could get ready for work.

                As the weeks went by, Donovan began to worry about his son. Emerson hadn't been by to see Gemma has often as normal and Donovan knew it had something to do with his relationship with Renata. Being an old man now, and using his age as an excuse to speak his mind, he approached Renata one evening while Evangeline was at work.

                “I know my son isn’t aways the brightest at times.”
                “You could say that again.”
                “He’s my son. I want the best for him. And for you. You’ve been my child for many years now. Please, don’t be too harsh with him. You’re a family, whether or not you’re together and you will be, for the rest of your lives. You’re just as guilty as he is of how your relationship stands.”

                “I don’t deserve the way he treats me!” 
                “No, but perhaps he doesn’t deserve your anger either. Did you tell him you had deeper feelings for him?”
                “Well, no, but…”
                “No buts. Work things out. For Gemma’s sake, at the very least.”

                “No fine!”
                “Daddy will find you, wherever you are!”

                Miles was over for the last night before he had to head back on the road again. The next trip wouldn’t be as long since they were just doing a mini-series with a team a few towns over but he hated leaving his son, even for the short trip. He’d been over every night since coming back to St. Claire and didn’t want to miss a moment of Flynn growing up. He scooped the toddler out of the toy box and carried him upstairs for bed.

                “Daddy loves you.”        
                “Lub dada.” Flynn grinned.

                “I’ll be back before you know it. Take care of your mom for me while I’m gone.” He tucked the toddler into bed, closing the door behind him, trying to block out the sound of his son’s wails and cries for his daddy as he walked away again.

Chapter 6.4                                                                                                                                                    Chapter 6.6

I have no idea why my male sims refuse to stay at the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy. When Flynn was born, Miles showed up, walked in and left almost immediately. I'm assuming because he had to be at work. Emerson came and, just like in the pictures, he went in and came back out and was playing his guitar in front of the doors. That was not staged, at all.

So, the majority of the rolls are revealed! Evangeline has rolled the Culinary career and I used my expansion gift to give Renata the blogging one when I moved her in when they were teens. The household was doing just fine in finances so I wasn't too concerned about a lucrative career as secondary. She's got over 1,000 followers but rarely gets donations but I'm okay with that.

Evangeline and Renata are both still working on their skills and challenges for Perfectionist. That damn dishwasher needs to break 2-3 more times before Evangeline can complete hers and Renata has a few more best friends to make/jokes to tell. I'm having to have her argue with people to drop them out of old friend status and then apologize and socialize to become friends again since old friends seem not to count for that goal.

Also, just a side note. Sylie's family line needs some tubes tied/vasectomies. Seriously Sylie. Didn't you teach those kids about birth control?