Welcome back to the Baker house in Sunset Valley. Last time we met the family and Svetlana and Heathcliff made a valiant effort to complete their LTWs as Elders. Heathcliff defied the odds and managed to complete his Perfect Private Aquarium, but Svetlana wasn't as fortunate and she died before she had made the 20 friends she wanted. Becky made good progress in the Music career and on her LTW to max Charisma and Guitar, while Topher went from being a child to a teen and is now only a couple days away from being an adult. Heathcliff is still with us, but at 100 days old he is likely to go at any time. As we start off here, Heathcliff is at home relaxing, Topher is at work at his part-time spa job, and Becky is out front of the theatre playing for tips. She was performing in a concert, but it popped her out of that action for some reason and wouldn't let me send her back in to do that.
As predicted, Heathcliff did not last long once I started playing. That same evening after dinner, while he was playing some games on the computer, Grim came for him. Topher was there to witness his passing, but Becky was at work and missed it. Heathcliff contributed 3 points to the challenge.
The family is still fairly poor, so there wasn't enough money to do much in the way of setting up a nicer burial plot area on the lot, but I did get a few flowers a least and arranged them with Svetlana and Heathcliff's tombstones. It's just too bad it didn't give them the same type of stone so they'd match.
With Heathcliff gone, the next day I had Topher scoop the fish out and send them off to be mounted. I'll preserve Heathcliff's achievement, but I really don't want to have to keep feeding the fish all the time and at least if they're mounted I know we can keep them permanently and they won't die and be lost. Yes, it was a bit expensive, but selling the bowls and endtables helped recoup some of the cost, and I'd also been able to sell one of the beds they no longer needed. Becky got a promotion and a bonus when she finished work the night before as well, so they had enough to cover it.
Monday was Topher's birthday and he decided at the last minute to throw a party. Once he got home from work, he called up several of his friends and acquaintances and invited them over. Becky finished up her performance about the same time, so she was able to make it home for the party as well. Once everyone was there and had mostly been greeted, Topher blew out his candles and aged up to Young Adult. He gained the Unflirty trait, and chose Descendant of da Vinci as his LTW, which means he'll have to master Sculpting, Painting, and Inventing.
On Wednesday Becky did a performance at the theater as usual, then played for tips outside afterward. In the course of playing she mastered her guitar skill and so had completed half of her LTW. She also finished the Master Guitarist skill challenge when she got to level 10.
That same evening, Topher went and registered as a self-employed Sculptor even though he had just gotten a promotion at the spa. He also worked in the garden that Heathcliff had started, though it remains to be seen just how long we'll continue it here. No one really needs to be doing gardening right now, so I really should let them spend their time on other things, though I probably will try to get some money trees going at least.
Topher had shown an attraction to Carly Landgraab at his birthday party, so he started chatting with her on the phone to build up a friendship. I was having issues getting her to come over again so they could talk face to face (she would glitch and be invisible, or she'd say she'd come over then almost immediately I'd get a message that something came up and she couldn't make it) so I had him go over to her place one evening. He discovered that she was single, and even though he's not big on flirting I had him do so and she proved to be both single and quite receptive to his advances. Before long I had them going steady.
|Bebe, Carly's stepmother, was asleep in the bed right beside them the whole time they were doing their whirlwind courtship|
Meanwhile, Becky managed to get a promotion that night which put her at the top of the Rock branch of the Music career. She hasn't quite achieved her LTW yet, but she's quite close. She's also getting close to becoming an Elder, which I'm not very happy about since I don't feel like I've had much time with her really. Poor thing, I've been working her to death her whole life making money for the family and I've never let her do much of anything else. I'm contemplating what I can do to roll her age back some to maybe start having a bit of fun with her, at least for a little while. Until then, she's at a bit of a loose end since she no longer has any set work hours, she simply needs to go perform concerts from time to time. I let her start exercising a bit to satisfy her Athletic trait.
Anyway, Topher came home after proposing to Carly so he could get some sleep. I was tempted to have him just do a quickie wedding with her so they could go ahead and move into the bigger house, but Topher has a sculpture in progress that prevented me from packing up his sculpting bench. Finishing that became his priority when he got up again the next morning.
Once he'd finished his sculpture I was able to pack it and the bench into the family inventory and send him down to the Consignment Store to put the sculptures he'd made so far up for sale. Once that was taken care of, I had him call Carly up for a date. She met him at Central Park and after a bit of preliminary hugging and kissing, they exchanged rings and became husband and wife. I'd had Becky come down to watch, but she decided to wander off and do something else.
Topher and Becky moved in with Carly, Malcolm and Bebe. Unfortunately I messed up when I did the move and I lost all of Heathcliff's fish that I'd stored in the family inventory as well as his and Svetlana's tombstones. Because of this I ended up having to go back to a previous save and re-play from the morning following Topher's engagement. It wasn't a lot, but did mean having to re-do all the changes I'd made at the Landgraab mansion to accomodate everyone. I mainly did this to save the tombstones - I would have been bummed about losing the fish, but wouldn't have bothered rolling back just to save them.
I had intended to have Malcolm and Bebe move out right away, but after looking at their traits and LTWs, I saw that they could get me further ahead sooner, so I decided to let them stay. For now at least. Bebe was apparently Bebe Hart, daughter of Gus and Dorie Hart. It seems she married Malcolm and Carly's father Geoffrey after Nancy died. I'll have to figure out a way to make a lot of money fairly quickly to finish her LTW (the Landgraabs didn't come with very much cash despite the fancy house), but it should be do-able. I added the sauna into the house, so I can keep knocking a day at a time off her age like I've been doing with Adrianna Britt to keep her alive until the LTW is done. I'll use it to keep Becky young for awhile longer too.
Here's a look at the new household members post-makeover:
Carly (Landgraab) Baker
Age: Young Adult
Traits: Absent-minded, Excitable, Loser, Handy, Vehicle Enthusiast
Favorites: Pop music, Autumn Salad, Green
LTW: Become a Creature-Robot Cross Breeder
Traits: Bookworm, Good, Eco-Friendly, Ambitious, Friendly
Favorites: Classical music, Cobbler, Yellow
LTW: Fashion Phenomenon (reach level 10 of Stylist profession)
Traits: Technophobe, Family-Oriented, Bookworm, Good, Frugal
Favorites: Indie music, Autumn Salad, Green
LTW: Swimming in Cash (have §50,000 in household funds)
Malcolm is engaged to Madison VanWatson and has a son named Bobby VanWatson with her. I don't intend to purse that relationship at least until Malcolm finishes his LTW since I don't want even more unplanned additions to this family.
I got Malcolm started with the Stylist career the following day. He wasn't actually scheduled to work for a few days yet, but I took him to the salon and had him offer people makeovers to practice a bit and start building his job performance. His first subject was Kaylynn Bunch, and his second was Arlo Bunch.
After doing those, I turned my attention to Becky for a bit and had her go down to the theater to hold an autograph session before doing a performance there. She did quite well and managed to earn §4,400 from it (§1,400 for 14 autographs signed and §3,000 for 10 people that entered the theater because of her event).
At about this point I took a bit of a break from actually playing them to build them a new house because yeah, the Landgraab mansion sucks and it was quickly driving me nuts. I started one house next door at 15 Summer Hill Court, the empty 60x60 lot there (same lot the Medinas are on now in their version of Sunset Valley), but then decided to go a bit smaller and cheaper for them to start with. Eventually I'll move them to a house on the Summer Hill lot, but they're really going to need more money before they can afford it. So I started over on building another house on Redwood Pkwy. along the coast. Smaller, cheaper lot, and I was still able to build them a really nice, large house without breaking the bank too badly. They made quite a profit in terms of ready cash when they moved - which was part of the point, since I'd also decided that moving to a cheaper house would be a quick and easy way to complete Bebe's LTW so it would be done, and I'll get credit for her unique things, and I won't have to keep her around too long. The strategy worked beautifully and so now I'll be able to count her few points regardless of what happens to her. Maybe I'll start trying to attract a meteor with her... Once the house was ready, I had Topher make the call to move, then they all piled into Becky's pink limo that she gets for work to drive across town.
For those who are interested, here are some shots of the new house. These were taken immediately after they moved and after I'd put out the things I had them bring with them, like Topher's sculpting and inventing benches and Malcolm's drafting table.
Malcolm had his first real day of work at the Salon the next day, and he went despite not having gotten much sleep because of the ghosts (Svetlana came out to play too). He managed to catch a catnap on one of the benches in the afternoon, and while he was doing that I took Becky down to the salon to get another tatoo like she was wanting. While she was there, Xander Clavell died. I don't think she knew him (though I'm not really sure if she did or not...she knows a lot of people), but she was affected by his death nonetheless. I almost missed it because I was checking on the people back at the house, but saw the notification about it and managed to get back over to her while Xander was shaking hands with Grim.
That evening I sent Topher down to the Stones Throw Greenhouse to collect seeds for Carly. There's not much room for a garden on their new lot, but she needs gardening for her job, so she's starting a small one at the side of the house. Mostly I was looking for money tree seeds and other special seeds so perhaps someone can make some ambrosia for Becky. While he was there, Lisa Bunch went into labor in the bathroom. She just stood there for a long time, doing her moaning and holding her belly instead of leaving to go have her baby elsewhere like I'd have expected. She did eventually leave before she delivered.
Apparently someone started a fire in the kitchen at home with the deep fryer while I was with Topher. Not sure who it was since it didn't drag me back there and I missed seeing it when it was happening. I did go back there to catch the aftermath though. The firefighter got stuck and just stood there instead of getting back in the truck and leaving. Not sure if I'll replace the deep fryer for them or not. The sims are waaaay too attracted to that fryer and the ice cream maker and it drives me nuts (I ended up caving in and replacing it).
The next day went by normally with Malcolm going to work again, Carly going back to work for the first time after the wedding, and the others being left to their own devices for the most part. Since I've ended up keeping Malcolm and Bebe along with Carly, I decided I should focus first on Malcolm since I completed Bebe's LTW with the move. Malcolm has locked in wishes to get married, and to get married to Madison, his fiancee and the mother of his son, in particular. She's already an Elder, so the clock is ticking on being able to let him do that before she dies. I want to finish his LTW so I can count his points, but after that I'd be just fine with letting him marry Madison and move out. I'd let him go ahead and get married before then, but I really don't want to add any more sims to this household, especially not ones that would just be developing a cadet line of the family. I did decide to let Topher and Carly go ahead and try for a baby though, which took way longer than it should have between interactions on the sauna not cooperating at first, Bebe barging in on them a couple times, and then later on Svetlana came out to haunt and interrupted them a few times.
I did remember to have Becky do a performance one day, but mostly she was left on her own for the next few days. Thankfully she's naturally fairly social, and she managed to get the last bit of skill she needed in Charisma to master it while talking with Bebe one afternoon. This completed her LTW of Golden Tongue, Golden Fingers and secures her place as a contributing member of the challenge. I'm still deciding if I want to try to do more with her or not, and until then I've been having her do mud baths to keep her at the Adult stage.
Unfortunately things seem to be a tad buggy on this lot for some reason. Or maybe it's just Bebe. She seems to have an affinity for typing in weird positions.
It took a few nights of trying, but eventually their efforts paid off and Becky realized she'd gotten pregnant. I wasn't sure it had worked, because for some reason I don't seem to be getting the chimes lately. Most likely a setting on one of the mods that I need to change. In any event, the next generation is officially on the way.
|Standing inside the table must have hurt...|