Farewell to the Pendletons

A sad accident has befallen my save files and the backup is not working. I still have access to a copy of the family made just after their wedding, and contemplated going back and trying to recreate the story thus far, but so many expansions have been added in since I began this one that I have decided instead to start a new legacy challenge instead.

Updates when its ready!

Panda Tales

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ImageI feel like I have scarcely had a day to rest and breathe in months!  we are both spending as much time as we can with little Sarah and fitting as much work in where we can. I’m thankful that with Matty’s painting and my writing, neither of us have set work hours and can happily adjust our time as needed as we learn how to be parents.

Apparently, just by being as happy as you can be, wonderful things happen and life improves.  I just can’t explain it but there I was dreaming of lovely bubbly chocolate bars and the need to find a better way to get into town to buy them with the little madam in tow and suddenly the next morning this was parked outside our home:

Bubble Bus

PandaI call it the bubbly bus. Its really lovely to drive. It doesn’t seem to matter what the problem is, after a short ride in the bubbly bus everything seems perfect. Its also fantastic for settling down Sarah when she’s having a tantrum.
Speaking of Sarah, she is developing into the most wonderful little panda that you could ever hope to meet. Admittedly, I’m counting on the fact that you probably haven’t met many.

candlesTime certainly does rush past when you are this busy though. Before we knew it, we were baking birthday cakes and choosing schools. Matty actually remembered the flammable birthday extravaganza that upset me so much before and wisely held our little panda out of harms way, just in case.

Apparently strawberry cream filling is the spawn of the devil. I know, it made no sense to me either. Sarah even likes strawberries, but from the look on her face when we cut the cake, you’d think we’d filled it with sprouts!glares

Matty treated our little lady to a whole new wardrobe of clothes ready for when school starts. She looks so grown up already. Thankfully she has now decided to be a singer rather than a panda. I was starting to worry about the bullying that might have occurred if Matty had let her attend school in the panda suit, but it appears to have been unnecessary.

sarah child wardrobe

Meet HayleyWith our lives so hectic and busy, I’d barely had time to pay much attention to myself, so it was rather a shock when I realised that I wasn’t just getting tired, worn down and putting on weight. It wasn’t long before our happy little home became blessed by yet another new addition. Hayley Pendleton.

 

I’m Still Alive!

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I’m awfully sorry. I haven’t abandoned my Sims stories, I’ve just not been well enough to play.  In September, I married my fiance of many years and all the extra planning and stress sent all my ME/CFS symptoms into overdrive. I’m starting to get a handle on it all again now and will hopefully be updating again soon. Stay tuned to meet the newest member of the Pendleton family…

Pretty in Pink

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Sarah’s new crib

The nursery was adorable. A little too pink for my personal tastes but perfect for our little Sarah. I wonder how Matty knew it would be a girl? Did he just take a lucky guess? At least he’s stopped feeding me all those sickening watermelon smoothies. It might be “good for the baby” but it certainly wasn’t good for the mummy! I don’t think I’ll be able to look at another watermelon ever again.

He said he was going to bring me a nice cup of hot chocolate to drink in bed as a treat to help me relax. The new bed is rather comfortable though and I can’t imagine why it is taking him so long. I’ll just close my eyes for a little to rest them.

I fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning he was still pottering about in the lounge. Apparently he’d been inspired and started work on a painting for Sarah’s room.

Speaking of Sarah, she is just so cute! I know I’m her mother and really I’m supposed to think that, but she rarely cries and always seems so happy. Matty had bought a lovely (pink again) baby swing that plays soothing music and everything. She loves it!

Sarah Pendleton

I love playing with her as she sits in her swing. Its right next to my writing desk so I can keep an eye on her. I wonder how I look to her? I must look all smiley and reassuring. Its important for babies to feel safe.

Do I really look that bad?

Not all of Matty’s decorating was helpful, but I’m trying to support his wonderful surprise. The treehouse he built in the yard really won’t be suitable for Sarah until she is much older, but he was so proud of it. To distract him from the obvious mistake, I found us another use for it. Matty just found splinters.

He’s painted a portrait of me for our bedroom wall. It felt a little odd to me, but Matty said that if we were going to keep this home in our family for generations then there should be some sort of record of all the people that have lived here. It actually sounded like a good idea. From Matty. Yeah, I was surprised too!

The months flew by. I haven’t managed many new books this year but No Coffee For Toddlers! and The Art of Using Rattles As Caltrops had a moderate success. Matty decided to celebrate Sarah’s new potty skills with a pink musical box.

Sarah really doesn’t seem that interested in it to be honest. I guess it doesn’t appeal as much to the tiny tot. But Matty loves it. I do wonder at times if he is really buying these things for our daughter or for himself!

Now that Sarah has started talking, we are learning a little more about her personality. Matty asked what she wanted to be when she grows up. Apparently, she wants to be a panda. Matty got all excited and encouraging and bought her a panda outfit to wear. I haven’t had the heart yet to remind him that children can’t grow into pandas. He seems to have forgotten!

The clatter of tiny hooves

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Apologies for the short break. Real life intervened for a while and left me with a very red plumbob! Back in the green again and time for an update!

It wasn’t very long before Frostbite produced her new filly which Emma named “Athena”.

The new addition – Athena

Standing true to her wishes to never use the Equestrian Centre’s pot luck breeding services, Emma invested in a stallion for the ranch. The stallions available for sale were not a large improvement on the breeding stock, however one stood out.

Brandywine – Genius, Friendly and Playful.

“Brandywine” made Emma laugh. He was so playful, yet he learned so quickly. It didn’t take him long to work out how to get to the carrots in her knapsack, and she only turned her back for a moment!

 

 

Training Athena! Her traits are Nervous and Friendly and she is being trained to be Fast and Agile.

Brandywine seemed to get on quite well with the other horses once she got him home. Frostbite was as friendly as ever, but Iceni and Athena took a little more convincing probably due to their more nervous natures. While the two older mares were getting to know the new man in their life, Emma worked more closely with Athena. Trained horses raise a lot more money, especially if they are trained to race and jump as well.

 

 

Despite the nervous and shy disposition of Iceni, it wasn’t long before both Iceni and Frostbite were carrying foals. Athena’s training was finished and she made $8,314 in a sale brokered by the Equestrian Centre. Twice the price of her older sister. With both mares unable to be ridden, Emma turned her attention to Brandywine. Time to raise his profile a bit and win some events!

Farms and Foals

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Frostbite having a back scratch

I am finding the horse ranch idea a lot of fun. It has surprised me as I’m not really into horses myself, but as I seem to be enjoying this as a casual game I went on the search for some interesting horse poses for the pose player. There is such a choice out there! My favourite so far have to be the “love and horses” pose set by Kaleeko. If you are likely to want to take cute pictures of your sim with their horse I’d recommend checking them out. Kaleeko’s poses will likely feature heavily in my screenshots of this game!

But what about Emma and her plans for her horse ranch? In order to get the land she needs to make her dreams a reality, Emma is going to need to be winning several competitions and selling trained foals on at the Equestrian Center.

Awful picture of Lightning as an adult, but the only one I had!

She tried not to get too attached to Frostbite’s new filly, Lightning, but before long they were best friends. This will make sale day very difficult. Arming herself with the knowledge that this is what she needs to do to get the ranch of her dreams, Emma tried to be brave about it.  I was impressed. She only cried twice. Lightning raised $4,023 towards the new farm. Emma consoled herself by buying another mare from the Equestrian Center for $694 before coming home. I’m not sure that was wise, but she couldn’t resist the way that the usually shy mare seemed to latch on to her instantly. She named her Iceni. 

Iceni – Friendly, Obedient, Shy. Will train to be Fast and Agile.

The current small farm has just enough room for stabling 3 adult horses but the paddock isn’t really large enough for the horses to get a good bit of exercise. Emma is trying to get around this by taking each of the horses on a training spree each day but this can’t last for long. Bigger premises are essential! In order to get a bigger lot though she will need more money…so back to breeding foals and winning races!

Training Frostbite for competitions

The second part of this aim proved to be the easiest. After all the training that Emma had done with Frostbite while they got to know each other, the beginner level races were simple. They victorious duo took home several trophies from both the show jumping and racing events which not only meant a nice sum of prize money, but a better reputation for Frostbite which could only help to increase the sale price of her foals.

Kisses from Frostbite. I forgot to mention earlier that Frostbite’s traits are Friendly, Fast, Genius and Agile.

While the shy Iceni was taking her time to settle in the new surroundings, Emma sought out the Equestrian Center’s stud services for Frostbite once more. The choices were a bit poor to be honest, but one of the stallions, Cavatina, seemed to at least be friendly rather than trying to take her hand off, so she took that as a good sign. Silently promising herself that this would be the last time she used the pot luck stud services, Emma took Frostbite home again.

 

Emma the Equestrian

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Meet Emma Hope!

I based this sim on a horse loving friend of mine, and spent an entire day tweaking the face to try to match photographs. Its not perfect, but the original Emma liked it!  The character’s lifetime wish is to find and befriend a unicorn, but she will be breeding horses for sale and riding in events to keep some sort of income.  In order to ease myself into this gently, I plan on starting with one mare and gradually increasing the stables with new horses that have either been collected from the wild, bought at the equestrian center or bred on Emma’s ranch. Eventually the horse sales will enable her to move to a better sized lot in order to train and breed the horses easier.

I’m told that the horse details and customisation are good enough to be able to create many very specific horse breeds, but as I have no knowledge of these I’m going with what looks nice to me. Horse snobs, deal with it!

The first few days saw Emma and her mare Frostbite become firm friends. Wanting to get started on the breeding side of her business, Emma took Frostbite to the equestrian center to be bred with one of the stallions there. Most looked a little temperamental but hopefully her choice has been a good one. Before long, the clatter of tiny hooves announced the arrival of Lightning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There will be more details to follow this little introduction, but for now I’ll leave you with a very badly lit picture of Emma bottle feeding the new foal.

 

 

Where are you?

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I really must apologise. Life has kept me very busy this past month and is only likely to get busier in the next few months as I will be getting married in September. However, while I haven’t had much time to post here, I have still been playing The Sims. This month I managed to acquire a copy of the Pets and Showtime expansions so I have been fiddling with those in the spare time I have.

It was the Showtime expansion that I had been waiting for mostly, yet when they arrived it seems to have been features from the Pets expansion that I’ve been playing most. I think this is due at least in part to me not having anyone added as a friend on my Sims 3 account. The new entertainment careers are much less fun without the Simport features so I will have to get around to adding a couple of people so that I can fully explore my inner rock star.

The Pets expansion has pleasantly surprised me. I didn’t enjoy pets much when they were added to Sims 2, as I prefer dealing with small households and micro-managing pets as well is a little too much for me. The Sims 3 Pets expansion however has given so much personality to the animals that I find it hard to resist them. Over at Carl and Pam’s Sims 3 forum, we have a veritable herd of horse lovers chomping at the bit to show us their ranches and horse stock and it has inspired me to look at the horses myself. Now I grew up in a small suburb on the outskirts of London where horses were things you would only see in a zoo, so my knowledge of them is pretty limited. However I have decided to base my little equestrian sim on a friend of mine that is completely horse mad.  I’ll update you on how it goes!

A New Arrival

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Over the next few weeks I worked incredibly hard to combat Matty’s absent-mindedness and to keep him focussed.  My two new novels The Stork Requires Some Assisstance and Babies Don’t Make Themselves seemed to pass unnoticed.

Green spaghetti?

The rearranging of the furniture so that his easel faced the bed also seemed to be too subtle.  Finally I settled on the tried and tested method of hanging a poster on the fridge door which declared “Get your butt into bed now, Matty Crewe, we have babies to make!”

Subtlety gets you nowhere.

Soon the only worry on my mind was how to not get splinters in my knees whilst vomiting into the toilet.

As soon as I was certain that I truly was pregnant and not mysteriously vomiting up green spaghetti due to odd diet habits, I gently broke the news to Matty.  He smiled and made a big fuss of me for 30 seconds before he became distracted by a passing car.  It was so perfect.

It must be all the hormone changes

I hadn’t really made allowances for all the changes that pregnancy would bring to our home.  We still had no actual roof over our heads, so I felt compelled to continue writing away in the hope of acquiring enough money to hire some builders.  The further my pregnancy progressed, the more I worried about it all.  Would we even be able to do this?

The joys of childbirth

I was spending so much of my time writing, that I barely had the chance to speak with Matty.  He spent every waking hour in front of his easel trying to recreate his thoughts in oils and watercolours.  They were selling slowly but steadily for moderate prices and my latest novels Your Life Will Be Worth Nothing If you Don’t Bring Me Ice-Cream! and Step Away From My Cookie Jar seemed to be leaving the shelves at a steady pace.

Long before we were prepared, the demon attempted to claw its way out I experienced the wonders of labour and the joy and serenity that accompany such a magical moment.

Matty went into an immediate panic and rushed off to the hospital. During the subway ride he managed to forget why we were going to the hospital in the first place and rushed ahead leaving me to struggle along on my own between contractions.  Keep walking along oblivious to the world, Matty.  When I catch you up, you’ll understand exactly how painful this is.

If looks could kill...

27 hours and 12 minutes of the miracle of childbirth later, I was presented with our new daughter.  She really is beautiful.  As you can see by the photograph that one of the nurses took of us leaving the hospital, I had now totally forgiven Matty and was full of nothing but love.

My happy mood continued all the way home…a trip that resembled our arrival with surprising accuracy.  Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?  I swear goldfish have longer memory retention.  We are going to have to have serious words when we get back home.  Well, back to the plot with a few bits of furniture anyway.

When I finally reached my familiar patch of grass, I found a not so familiar building on it.

How did he know we were having a daughter?

Matty was bouncing about like Tigger with an energy drink addiction.  While I’d been at the hospital he’d been very busy.  He told me that he’d researched the plans for the house weeks ago and had chosen a design by a famous architect named Thigpen and that he’d organised everything to be built and delivered while I was in hospital.  No wonder he’d been so distracted!

Anticlimactic Celebrations

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When I find out who took this picture, they will be sorry!

Matty seemed really eager to cement our relationship with a wedding as soon as possible.  I was touched.  He must really be worried that I’ll change my mind and desperate not to lose me!  I found that thought so sweet that I agreed to rush ahead and have a private little wedding just for the two of us.

I have no idea who took that photograph.  We certainly didn’t invite anyone to join us.  I certainly never would have agreed to let someone photograph me with such a dorky, lovesick expression on my face!

A day later I discovered the real reason behind Matty’s haste  to plan the wedding.  His room mates hate him.  They never really looked past the disintegrating sneakers and his witty comments seem to have alienated him from them.  Then again, I don’t think they like each other either. I could tell that they don’t talk to each other by the way that all four of them sent us a coffee machine as a wedding gift.
Knowing that Matty had some sort of aversion to electrical items, I carefully set up my writing tools in a little corner away from everything else so that he wouldn’t have to be scared of them.  Its so much nicer to not have to travel to the library every time I have a new idea for the book.

Don't look at the shoes...don't look at the shoes...

I even managed to get a small easel for Matty to practice his painting as he’s such an artistic soul.  Sadly our little ‘home’ is still rather messy…just like Matty’s shoes.  No, no honestly, they aren’t occupying my mind constantly.  Well not really.  Perhaps just a  little bit though.

The hat has left the building. I know you are cheering along with me.

Matty arrived with his worldly possessions which, quite frankly, surprised me.  Two dog-eared novels, a portable musical keyboard and a laptop.  What an odd selection for a Technophobe!  I did question him about the laptop in particular as the slow monstrosity I’d managed to afford to write with was vastly inferior.  He insisted that he couldn’t remember why he had bought it and even though he hated it he wouldn’t leave it for his room mates to benefit from.  Another win for me then!

Of his own free will, Matty suddenly decided that it was time for a less moth-eaten look (honestly, no matter how hard I try, mind-control isn’t in my powers yet, this was all him!).  While he was shopping I wondered just how much worse he could possibly manage to look with new clothes.  Yet when he returned, he really did look much better…

…even if they didn’t all stay on for long.

Watching the stars

Another year older

As we watched the stars together we began to make plans and talk about our future together.  I told him all about my father’s dream and how I planned to make it happen.  Matty just wanted a comfortable but expensive home and me to share it with.  I think we should be able to make both of these dreams work together.

Soon enough, my birthday arrived and I realised that time was marching on.  Had we left things too late?  Matty had made me a beautiful birthday cake but that sure looked like a lot of candles.  At first I thought he’d just lost count half way through and started again, but then I worried that it might actually be correct so I didn’t count them myself.  I just closed my eyes, made a wish and blew out the candles.

What did I wish for?  I wished that Matty and I would be happy and see our plans bear fruit.  What should I have wished for?  Less candles or a fire extinguisher.  Nothing destroys a girl’s ego faster than the candles on the birthday cake setting the house alight.

How embarrassing!

I heard what his ex-room mates whispered as they were leaving. I was not impressed.
In fact, after everyone had left I was pretty nigh inconsolable.  It was too much.  After everything else that had happened it seemed like the whole world was a ticking time bomb with too short a fuse.  Matty curled up beside me and gave me a huge hug.  He whispered silly things to make me smile and kissed away the tears.  

Then he suggested that perhaps we should make a start on the family we had agreed on.  I couldn’t help but smile.  He jumped off the bed, spun around into his pyjama trousers…paused for a moment…then trundled off to do some more painting.  He’d forgotten already.  Daft man, this would take a lot longer than I had thought!