The Gift of Life

Monday, July 12, 2010

As Meredith collapsed tiredly by the fire, holding her beloved teddy close, her eyes turned to the fond memories framed along the mantelpiece. There were many things weighing heavily on her mind, but today... Today had been a good day, at the end of a fantastic weekend.

Screenshot-266.jpgSaturday morning had been spent planning and plotting, buying cake and setting up chairs, and trying to avoid showing how much her back ached, but it was worth it: it was Bradley's birthday, and despite how much both Jebidiah and Meredith hated parties, it was important to Mere to show her son how much she loved him. In the end, she'd invited almost every friend that Travis had made in school -- quite a few, she painfully realized -- and that meant a lot of preparation... Especially mentally.

Farah ended up showing up, as well, which came as a huge relief -- she didn't mind putting in a little grunt work, as long as she got to be around when her grandson became a child. The kids were running around and being obnoxious, but at least Travis and June stopped their playing to celebrate when Meredith brought Brad to the cake.

Meredith laughed as Brad tried to blow out the candles -- he just wasn't that strong enough, yet... But he tried. Two candles, for his second birthday -- to Meredith, it was the most important transition in his life...

... and, seeing him grow up, was one of the proudest moments of her hers.

Once cake was involved, all the kids finally rushed to attention, screaming and laughing and barrelling over each other; it wasn't silent until they were all stuffing their faces. "Their moms are gonna hate me, I'll be sending them home with more energy than a herd of rhinos," Meredith quietly contemplated to the bite of frosting on her fork. "Oh well. Not my problem!"

But while Meredith is no Party Animal, she sure knows how to keep kids entertained; adult parties are pretty lame, yes, but kids parties? She knew all the right jokes to keep them rolling over themselves with laughter.

When it was all over, Bradley had thanked his mom for everything -- it was almost enough to make Meredith cry. It had been so long since she had been thanked... for anything... That to hear her son say those words was almost too much for her poor hormone'd self to handle.

"We'd like to get you something, for your birthday, dear... Is there anything you want?"

"Well... I was looking through a magazine... And I saw this bench... And I was wondering..."

"Anything for you, sweetheart. Anything."

"Here good, Mere?" Jebidiah called, looking at the corner of the yard thoughtfully.

"Uh... No, can you build it a little closer towards the house? I'd rather not have to cut those birch trees down. They're all we've got for shade back there!"

"I'll do my best, but we might have to--"

"You're smart, just FIGURE IT OUT! And it better be freakin' PERFECT!"

Jebidiah rolled his eyes, but didn't answer as he started to lay out on the ground where Bradley's birthday present was going to be built. "Can't wait 'til that baby is out of her," he muttered to himself...

Screenshot-335.jpgAs it was still the weekend, Jebidiah decided to take the next day off work, and instead, try to work on some 'public relations'. His reputation was beginning to go sour, despite how many cases he'd solved, and that probably was because he was avoiding actually socializing with anyone. People were suspicious... And they had every right to be.

So, he did what he knew he was good at doing -- training people to get in shape. As people were led to believe that he was helpful and encouraging, he was satisfying his need to rid the town of a few fat butts. "It's a win-win," he chuckled evilly to himself.

Meredith tagged along on his little... 'outreach enterprise'... but only because she was worried that her own butt had gotten a little too fat, as well. Exercise wasn't the only thing she found at the gym, though; she was surprised to find that she wasn't the only pregnant woman in this podunk town.

"Eva Drudge," the woman introduced herself. "My husband Shamus and I just moved here recently, as well. We had some.. issues.. where we used to live, um, some stuff at work, he needed to-- well, it's not important. What I mean to say is, try not to let this town get to you. They're a bit insensitive, but trust me, you aren't alone."

For the first time since they'd moved to Twinbrook, Meredith actually felt warm being around someone new. There'd been some of those geeky boys at the park that were nice, when she first arrived, but since then, it had all been Max Rackets and DeAndre Wolfs -- creepy, and more creepy. "How far along are you?" Eva asked as she made a cute little wave at Meredith's tummy. "You look nearly as ready to pop as I am!"

"Any second, it feels like," Meredith groaned, rubbing her sore back. "And I sure hope so. Due date is... sometime this week, I think... but I've got mixed feelings about it. I just want it out, ya know, but I love how crazy it's driving my husband!"

"I know exactly what you mean," Eva laughed.

As Meredith found herself laughing, she began to feel something she hadn't felt in a long time... The realization that this was going to be the beginning of a long, and wonderful, friendship.

But Meredith would not get her wish of torturing her husband for much longer. "Honneeeeeyyy!!" she yelled from the gym bathroom, holding her tummy tighly. "It's coming!"

Back at home, the phone rang. "Kids, your dad just called. You're stuck with me for another few hours, sounds like your sister's on the way." The babysitter went back to watching the sports on TV, and Travis joined him -- but, Bradley felt it was time to make use of his birthday present. Running into the shed that his father had built... He got to work.

Just as the sitter had said, several hours later, the front door slammed as Meredith walked through the door. "Kiiids! Come see your sister!"

At just that moment, Bradley finished his first, great invention: the Drinking Llama. It wasn't the most amazing thing in the world, but he was proud, and excited to be able to give something to the newest member of their family.

After Meredith got her changed into new swaddling, Bradley ran into the nursery, and looked into the crib only yesterday he'd still be sleeping in himself. "She's so beautiful, mom," he said with a smile.

"Bradley... Meet Amelia."

"Well, Amelia," Bradley said as he propped up the llama on his sister's nightstand. "I know it's not much, but I worked on it hard, and that's all that matters... S'kinda like this family. We're not perfect, but... We work real hard to stick together, and no matter what, we'll always, always love you."


"Yes," Meredith thought as she looked into the flames, holding Mr. Snugglesworth even tighter to her chest. "It's been a wonderful day."

Yay, happy post. :) Not much story, but plenty of awesome. Welcome, Amelia, the newest member to the Kane Clan! ... Even though you actually arrived over a month ago. ... Still. Welcome anyways!

Drama and heartache shall resume next post. ;) 

Also: Now that Amelia has been born, the Family Tree has been updated! Amelia has been added, and everyone's LTW that I had. I'm not as dedicated as Marty, not gonna go back and add all their Favorites, too... ;)


Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM  

Welcome, Amelia!

I bet Meredith was in heaven with a children's party. You did a great job setting it up. I've never done a kids party in game. Probably because I've done too many in real life. A dozen little girls hopped up on sugar. AHHHH!!

Bradley is going to be the inventor in the family? Keep a shower nearby!

You have some wonderful details in these shots. The sepia pictures in the digital frames in the hallway are gorgeous. And exactly what someone might have in their house.

I liked this update very much.

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

Thank you, Chrysame!

Meredith definitely had a blast. ;) Between her Childish and Good Humor traits, she was really enjoying herself. She still doesn't like parties, but she does love kids.

Kids parties are pretty fun to do, in-game. Set up sprinklers, the gnubb set, order pizza, and you're set. Probably not as easy in real life, though! Only ever been to one, not hosted one, hehe.

Photos I think are the coolest way to decorate a house. I'm always having Meredith running around taking scenery shots. I'm glad you noticed! I spent a lot of time trying to put as many details on that house as possible. Takes a long time to load, but is worth it. :)

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 9:17 PM  

Oh, and, I definitely have a shower nearby. :D It's on the opposite side of the shed from the bench. It's a tad annoying, because Travis always runs out there to shower, but it's saved Bradley's butt (literally) several times. ^^

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

I haven't yet used the digital frames. You and Dee seem to be having so much fun with them and they do add a realistic touch.

It's nice to have a sweet update in between the drama.

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

They really are awesome. I've probably got about 10 in my house, at this point. I especially like the smaller ones, because you can put them on the fireplace and on end-tables and such. Very much like my own house, where my living room is totally plastered with family photos.

Thanks again. :) There's a lot of chaos in their lives, but I need to remember to be nice to my sims, sometimes. Otherwise, they're going to abandon me and go hide out in your guys' games. >.>

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

If you upload a few single sims then you will definitely see them in our games. :P

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 9:40 PM  

Ack!! I totally made you some a few days ago, but I completely forgot to upload them. Thank you for reminding me! I'll do that right now.

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

There we go! Uploaded. :) 2 guys, and 1 more girl. I knew I was forgetting something, drat!

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 11:13 PM  

Grabbing them. Rec's coming your way. Thank you!

Dee July 13, 2010 at 6:03 AM  

I love this update same as the rest of them. I really love that first pic where Meredith is sitting there holding the bear.

The one time I had a kids birthday with all kids invited, they were all over the place. It seemed almost real.
I really like the, no thought bubbles. I'm just so used to having them. I may try it without them sometime and see if I can get used to it.

I'm on my way to check out your new sims too. I'm sure they will get rec's and fav's so I can find them later for download.

Unknown July 13, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

I have to agree, I think Meredith looks adorable with her bear. I wish they didn't get bugged out as much as they do, though... I don't know about you, but after a certain amount of time in someone's inventory, sometimes they stop working properly. Really annoying. :(

The no-bubbles cheat is awesome. It's a bit hard to get used to because it also takes away the plumbbob, and it makes socials with similar animations look pretty indistinguishable, but it makes capturing special moments so much better.

Raisin Hale July 14, 2010 at 12:25 AM  

amelia is a pretty name. does meredith change her clothes during her pregnancy? it won't let any of my pregnant sims do that ever. and i'm glad she made a friend, and had a good time at the party. she needed that fo sho. and i love the bottom wallpaper in the nursery.

Unknown July 14, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

I've always loved the name Amelia. :) It was the name of one of my favorite Sims in Sims 2, I figured it was time to reuse it! They actually kinda look similar, and will have similar personalities.

And yes, Meredith does change her clothes. She goes through three different outfits, since I am an outfit/CAS fiend. :) Unfortunately, you need the use of a mod to edit clothes while pregnant. However, the one I use (Twallan's SuperComputer, aka Master Controller) adds a menu to Sims that has a "Dresser" option, and when clicked (when pregnant) it not only brings them into 'Plan Outfit' mode, but it only shows clothes that will "show the bump", so to speak. Makes it so easy to make nice pregnancy outfits.

That wallpaper pattern is definitely one of my favorite CC patterns. I've used it so many times, at this point!

Dee July 14, 2010 at 5:41 AM  

I tried the no-bubbles cheat yesterday and left it on. I'm going to try to get used to it. It does make it hard to know what they are up to unless I hover over the little icon at the top. I think the hardest part to get used to is not knowing when the skill bubble is filled. I'll have to remember to read the little popups.

Unknown July 14, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

I'm assuming that it's mostly for Machanima, but nothing says it can't work for both videos and screencap stories! :) I kinda like the mystery of not knowing when they'll skill up, but it makes me especially impatient when waiting for kids to finish their homework.

PiB - Nicarra July 15, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

Nice update and welcome Amelia. I'm sure you'll have the whole family wrapped around your little finger in no time.

Damn, does this mean I have to get more artistic with screenshots? Of course, that's one of the reasons I started cropping my pics - it's easy to remove the distractions when you crop.

Unknown July 15, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

Ooh, I'm sure she will. :) Especially with two big brothers!

Hahaha, your screenshots are great the way they are, PiB. ;) I'm personally way too lazy to go through and crop every picture... In fact, I just made my blog a little wider so I don't have to bother resizing my pictures to fit anymore. But, it makes me happy if anyone finds my babble helpful in the least. I'm personally just insanely anal retentive and neurotic, so everything I do is over-analyzed.

I would make a really irritating Sim. A Neurotic, Perfectionist, Absent-Minded, Good Mooch. At least, I'm sure that's how my hubby would make me. ;)

Jen August 11, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

That was so lovely! Yes, welcome little Amelia.

I too really loved the opening shot. I wish out lady sims would cross their legs more often! lol

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