Thursday, 17 March 2011

Generation 1: Chapter 7

The only moment of peace Hal and I get is when we're sleeping - and even that's short-lived! Having a toddler and two babies is taxing, and you're so tired your nerves are frayed, and every little thing gets on your nerves.

I'd be up at all hours of the morning, feeding the twins and changing their diapers. Once one started crying...

...the other one started crying, like a chain reaction. They just do everything together, and it drives me nuts.

Pandora's a lot better now she's a toddler. She's learned to talk and is potty-trained, so she doesn't cry when her nappy needs changed and if she's hungry she can just say so and we'll feed her, no problem.

I've been working hard on my designing and painting skills, learning what colours match and what colours don't. Some paintings I hang on the wall.

Here's one of my best works so far. It hangs pride of place outside the bathroom door.

Not more birthdays! My kids were growing up so fast, I just couldn't believe it. I was sure Jack was going to be so handsome.

I was right! Yeah, he looks a little grumpy in this picture but I think that's because I wouldn't let him get more cake, although I think that slice is big enough. It's almost the size of his head!

Here he is after his makeover! The girls will just be clamoring over him...I dread to think!

It was Pandora's turn next. I couldn't believe she was turning into a child - it was so surreal! All these birthdays were making me think of my own impending doom...I mean, aging. But I wasn't going to dwell on that, it was time to focus on Pandora.

She sat there clapping her hands for a few minutes, then said "Sparkle!" and aged up into a child.

Here she is as a child after her makeover! She looks so much like Hal, it's strange! She's like a carbon copy of him, except for the fact she's a female!

She seems to have taken a liking to the swing in the playroom.

For their birthdays, we got Pandora a chess set (the little genius she was...she was saying "contemplate" from the minute she learned to idea where she picked it up) and we got Jack a guitar, he had always had a gift for music and we knew he'd like it. We knew Pandora would love her chess set too - she was all into the logical side of thinking.

We were right! Jack and Pandora loved their gifts, running through to tell us thank you. There was a bit of a traffic jam at the door, with two of them trying to get through it at once. Jack, being clumsy, actually ran into the glass before he realized he had to turn the handle.

Like I said, Jack has such a talent for music. He was strumming out beautiful tunes within half an hour of getting to know the chords! Pandora took about 15 minutes memorizing the little figures and where they can go, and was soon playing against herself. None of us were brave enough to challenge her...we were so sure she would demolish us!

Hal's promotion to a Lieutenant brought us home a shiny new car - a police cruiser! Finally, we wouldn't have to travel around in taxis. Yes, it was certainly noticeable, but it was a private car. Who was I to complain?

Once again, it was time for a birthday! The twins were aging up now, into toddlers. Since Denver was born first, he was the first to age...

...into a sudden growth of hair. I think that should be changed immediately.

Much better! Denver loved his little bunny costume, and doesn't really like to have anything else on. What a cutie!

Lilith went next...

How gorgeous is she!? I have no idea where the blonde hair came from...maybe someone in Hal's family had blonde hair, I don't know.

She was sweet before, but now she's just the epitome of sweetness! She is so cute.

They then went to play with (or eat...) the blocks. Don't be fooled by their cuteness and innocence now...

...because even Jack, who is so family-oriented, can't calm them down when something's wrong. Speaking of Jack, he's great with Pandora and the twins...he takes just as much care of them as Hal and I do!

However, while Denver screams blue murder at anyone who dares not feed him in time, Lilith just sits there, eating her hand. But she can cause a riot, trust me. When they're both hungry...woe betide anyone who's trying to sleep.

The kids were beginning to learn how to walk and talk, and we were potty training them too. They were fairly quick to learn, and soon enough...

...they were taking their first (unsteady) steps! Hal and I were so proud, of all our kids. Jack was taking to the guitar like a duck to water, while Pandora was just getting better and better at chess.

They were soon saying their first words, too. Our house was certainly busy, but with an extra "parent" in Jack, we were able to get by quite nicely.

All the younger kids loved to play together, with Pandora playing with blocks, and the twins playing with (or in Lilith's case, in) the toybox. Denver loved his rocket toy!

Even with the new house upgrade, things were forever breaking around here! None of us are especially handy so we have to spend 50 Simoleans on a handyman.

One night, well morning, at about 3 O'Clock, I was wandering around the house tidying stuff up since I couldn't sleep. I heard faint music coming from Jack's bedroom, and went to investigate. I found him playing his guitar! At 3 O'Clock in the morning!

"Young man, just what do you think you're doing?" I demanded. "It's 3 O'Clock in the morning, and you're still dressed! You have school tomorrow, for the love of Plumbob!"

He set his guitar on the stand and turned to face me, scowling.
"Well, excuse me mom, but I lost track of time and anyway, you have work tomorrow. Why are you up at this time of the morning?"
"Don't you talk to me like that!" I growled.

"You think you can just stay up and play your guitar until whenever you please, don't you? Well, Jack, I have news for you. You still live in this house, so you still have to do as I say, and I will not tolerate this sort of rudeness!"
"Geez, mom, cool it! I lost track of time, OK?" Jack retorted, angrily. "Since when were you a tyrant? Just get out of my room!"
"Jack Houston, you will not speak to me like that ever again!"

I stormed out the door, and Jack slammed it behind me before I could. I had a startling realisation that that type of outburst was just the kind of thing my mother would do, and she had tossed me out of the house as soon as she could.

What was I turning into?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Generation 1: Chapter 6

Pandora was a real fusspot - always waking Hal and I up for a cuddle, or some milk. We'd never known a baby who required so much, but we loved her all the same.

It was birthday time again! Pandora and Jack were going to age up on the same day, and Jack went first. I couldn't wait to see who he looked like more - Me or Hal!

Jack aged up in a shower of rainbow sparkles, excited to finally be a "big boy".
"Mommy! Look at me!" he said excitedly, jumping around excitedly.

He was looking forward to his first day of school already, but he still had three days until he had to go. He kept asking me questions about what it was like.
"Mommy! What's school like? Will there be people I don't know? Will I make friends? Are the subjects hard? Will we get lockers? What..."
There were almost too many questions for me to keep up with.
"Ask your dad," I said. "Remember, I didn't grow up here, I grew up in Sunset Valley."

Jack was a good mixture of Hal and I - he was so handsome, and all ours! His baby and toddler years just flew by, and I was getting a little nostalgic.

But, there was no time for moping around! It was Pandora's turn to grow up now, and I was so excited to see what she would look like as a toddler. There would be a little less screaming and crying now, but there would still be many sleepless nights. Unfortunately there would be sleepless nights for Jack, too, as he had to share a room with his little sister. We didn't have enough money to build a new room.

As the sparkles engulfed her, Pandora gurgled incomprehensibly, sitting up on her own for the first time. I stood over her, clapping and cheering, feeling a rush of pride. I love my kids!

What a cutie! Pandora looked so happy to finally be a toddler and immediately went into the nursery to play with some toys. But she didn't get long because the kids had had an exciting day and I decided they would both have to go to bed.

During the night, I got up and placed Jack's birthday present in the kids' room - his own Easy-Bake Oven!  I made sure to get a blue one since it seemed a little feminine but who was I to question my son's happiness? He had wanted one of these ever since he saw an ad for one on TV, and pointed to it saying "Mama! Me want! Me want pweez!" I could tell he was going to get a huge surprise when he woke up.

Sure enough, as soon as he saw the oven he let out a little squeal and ran through to the kitchen where I was cooking breakfast, squealing "THANK YOU MOMMY!" excitedly. He hugged me tightly around the waist and said, "So when can I start baking?"
"Ingredients are in the cupboard," I smiled, pointing down to the counter.
"Yay!" He grabbed his ingredients and followed the instructions, mixing his eggs and flour diligently, exactly as the recipe said. His first batch of vanilla muffins burned but the second batch turned out brilliantly. He brought them over to me and set them on the counter. "Here you go!" he said. "I'm gonna make more now!"

Jack loved his baby sister. When he saw her in the morning he always gave her a hug, saying "Good morning" in her ear. I had never seen a kid who loved his baby sister so much, and it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my chest to see that they had bonded in such a way.

One night, I had woken up to get myself a drink and saw the smallest baby bump. I could hardly contain my excitement but was a little confused. Hal and I had taken all the precautions but yet I was pregnant...again. I had always wanted a big family but I wasn't sure what Hal would think. We hardly had enough money to support us now, so what would it be like with a new baby on the way?

For some reason, pregnancy was a lot harder on me this time around. I just couldn't understand it. I always seemed to be hungry. But even so I always tried to find the time to spend with my kids and my garden. Teaching Pandora to walk was on top of my priority list but she seemed to get the hang of it soon enough. I was so preoccupied, my plants all seemed to die on me, but I would quickly go to rescue them. I always liked to have fresh fruit and vegetables to put in the family meals.

It was late at night again when I went into labour. I had just finished my...*ahem* business when my water broke! I had another home birth because to be frank, the hospital scared me slightly. And I gave birth to...

A boy! Little baby Denver cooed at me and I brought him into the nursery/bedroom.
"Hal," I said quietly. "The baby came."
"What!?" he said, shocked.
"Yep." I turned to him, smiling. But that smile faded fast when more contractions hit.

"Oww!" I screeched.
"AJ!" Hal rushed to my aid. "I can't believe it..."
"Neither...can...I!" I wheezed. "Don't...panic...I'! Fine..."
"Honey, it'll be fine."
"I know!" I snapped. "I've done this before tonight!"
"Mommy..." Jack mumbled, half-asleep. "What's happenin'?"
"Nothing, Jack..." I said softly. "Go back to sleep."
In less than 5 seconds his head had softly flopped onto the pillow and I resumed giving birth... a beautiful baby girl! We called her Lilith, and as I laid her in her cot I couldn't believe I had twins. TWINS! How were we going to cope!?
Thankfully, Hal had saved up all his bonus and promotion money for a rainy day - and today it was raining cats and dogs!

We had plenty of money to spend on a brand-spanking-new house, with a small garden for my crops outside. Let's have the grand tour...

When you walk in, the first thing you see is the dining area. This room is large and open plan, so if you look to your left... see the study and hobby area, with a drawing board to research fashion concepts, which would be useful to my career. We also had a computer for Hal to work on his police reports.

If you look to your right there's the living area, with a nice, larger TV because Jack would want to watch his shows more comfortably.

Directly beside the dining area there's the kitchen. We finally have a dishwasher so we won't have to walk the whole way to the bathroom to wash dishes, so we'll avoid some awkward situations!

The door in the study/hobby area leads to the bathroom, which is nice and big, and very modern. I'm not sure about the shower but I dare say I'll get used to it.

Here's Hal and I's room. It has a nice tropical bamboo-type theme to it, and there's a big mirror in the corner, which you can't see in this picture.

Here's the playroom, with toys galore for all the kids to play with! It's cluttered because I'm slightly scared to touch the toys to clean them up - Pandora likes to bite her toys.

On the first door to the right is the twins' room - nice and bright, with a lovely colour scheme, if I do say so myself. It's bright and airy, and not focused around one child.

Next door to Denver and Lilith's room is Pandora's room - it's very pink, her favourite colour. She just loves the flower pattern on the top of her cot and sometimes she'll lie on her back, "talking" to them.

On the opposite side of the wall, a door leads to Jack's bedroom - in his favourite colour, red. He's not a vehicle enthusiast but he really liked the pattern on this wallpaper so we had to get it, and for his bed as well! He certainly loves it, and can't wait to show it to his future school friends.

Of course, not even a new house could take the attention away from the twins. They were real mischief makers - waking up and crying at the exact same time, making it seem like they had planned it! Yes, I know they look peaceful, innocent and perfectly angelic in THIS picture, but please, don't be fooled. I dreaded the toddler years...

But, of course, life goes on. Jack went to his first day of school. I gardened in my formal wear. Pandora (sort of) learned to eat solid food. She always played with and cuddled her "pet tiger", whom she imaginatively named "Tiger". She also has Panda, Bunny, and Mr. Bear. Jack found a friend in one of the Broke family's children (his name escapes me right now...) and Pandora took her first steps. We were a large, busy household, and I was just so exhausted from everything. I had been feeling so tired lately, but the kids didn't give me much peace. I was up on my feet all day cooking, cleaning, and feeding the twins and Pandora. It would get even more difficult when I resumed work, and I had heard bad things about the babysitters. Hopefully I would get one that was OK, but we would have to worry about that later, when I returned to work. I swear, if a babysitter so much as turns on the TV while one of my babies are crying, they would get fired.

I am so exhausted! I guess that's why I went off on a rant there. I think I need to relax a bit...