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Narrated by Raine Hodson
The girls have just had their first birthday, and it amazes me how smoothly it has gone for Lexie and I, considering we were newlyweds parenting my son, Aston, and newborn twins.
Lexie loves being a mother. She’s taken some extra family leave, but she’s also managed to get a promotion this spring in her career as a journalist, which allows her to write from home more and travel less.
Lexie must be one of those rare two percent who can actually multitask. Anyone who can read while parenting toddlers is gifted, that’s for sure.
Charlotte, our older twin, is more laid back and cooperative than Emily, the younger one. Emily gets a little more willful and grumpy, and she’s also more active than Charlotte. But both of them are “easy babies.”
And with Laksmi, the nanny who cared for Aston since he was little, and Pippi, Aston’s dog, the twins never lack for attention and we’ve had enough help to manage easily.
Laksmi is a godsend. She’s always either caring for one of the children, cleaning, or, if everything else is done, she seeks out Pippi and gives her some love. I think Laksmi’s calming presence is the only reason Pippi is as well trained as she is. Pippi’s only a little older than the twins, and she could be really rambunctious and destructive.
Aston is thriving. He’s making all E’s in first grade, and needs remarkably little help with his homework.
He’d been asking to go roller skating, and I had a little extra time one afternoon, so we went to the roller rink. We both ended up on the floor right away.
But we ended up having a great time helping each other.
Aston isn’t as close with Jack and Karina’s boy, Oz, anymore, but he has other friends from school. Oz is a little older than Aston and he has fewer rules and expectations, so it’s probably for the best.
The only problem we’ve had is that our house is just too small. When the twins were born, we thought we could manage pretty well, although we planned to move eventually. We turned the dining room into a nursery. While the girls were infants, that was adequate. But now that they are crawling around, even though the dining room is ok as a nursery, the rest of the spaces are just too cramped. We literally have to potty train the girls in the kitchen, and there’s only one small bathroom, which is upstairs. Just getting up and down the stairs past each other can be a real aggravation when emptying the potties.
I can’t believe how lucky we’ve been, though. I have left the day to day running of the general store to Erle Radcliff, who is capable. I finished my upper management course before the girls were born, and have been able to make a lot of money as a business consultant to other local stores trying to compete with big chains. My last commission was $25,000! And I’ve been investing in the stock market and we have done well.
So one night at dinner, after Lexie and I had talked about it, we told Aston we were going to move to a bigger house soon. We’ve already talked with Aston about the fact that we plan to have more children, too, and he excitedly asked if new brothers or sisters were part of this deal. Although we’ve been trying for another baby, and we’ve also talked about adopting, there aren’t any new children in the immediate future. Lexie still wants to have six or seven children, and I am happy we have the means to provide for a large family if we are able to make it happen.
The house we found was an old rambling one, not very modern, but with lots of spacious rooms. It’s actually closer to the school than our house in town, and since it is technically outside the town limits, the property is dirt cheap.
We redid some of the floors and updated the color schemes and fixtures, and it is just perfect for our growing family. My favorite part is the huge downstairs bathroom which makes potty training and managing bath time a breeze.
That time of day is challenging enough in the best of circumstances.
And how is it that the bathroom becomes the social hub of the house? All I can say is, if that’s the way it’s going to be, the bathroom needs to be the size of a sitting room!
The house has a huge old kitchen, which we turned into a playroom for the kids. They can crawl or toddle back and forth from the nursery to the kitchen to the bathroom on their own.
Speaking of toddling, Emily was the first of the twins to take her first steps.
She was determined to walk, and now she can get around by herself with only a topple now and then.
Charlotte, however, has no interest in walking. She seems to have a vivid imagination.
It’s fun to see her face light up playing peek-a-boo, or singing a nursery rhyme, or listening to a story.
She’s still content to be carried about by whoever will pick her up, while Emily squirms to be put down and toddle off on her own.
Charlotte also seems to need more frequent naps than Emily.
Aston seems very happy with his new room. He’s matured enough that he is now allowed to keep his painting materials there and manage them himself. Most six year olds wouldn’t be able to handle that, but he is focused with his paint.
Lexie and I have a small sitting room where we keep most of our books, but once the girls are down we sometimes play chess in the nursery.
What we call the nursery, is actually designed to be the living room, and when all the children are old enough, we will convert it. There are three large bedrooms, a full, large, finished attic, and a total of four full baths in the house, so we have room for a large family of kids and teens in the future.
Aston still likes to play, too, and sometimes he’ll take my spot.
I wouldn’t have imagined any of this, a few years ago, or thought things could possibly go this well, but we have a lot to be thankful for.
- Raine is a fortune sim, and he has done really well financially lately. At the end of Round 1 I was having a glitch with the store’s cash register, and while trying to fix that, I technically sold the store back to the community, and had Raine go into the business career. He’s already in the upper levels and got a $25,000 chance card too. Next round I plan to have him back at the store, but with so much going on at home it was helpful to have Erle “run” it, at least for story purposes.
- I built this house as a cheap option for a very large family for a Scottish world I was creating that developed some kind of crashing problem. Luckily I had saved all the houses before moving sims into them. However, the house was originally built for a time before electricity so everything was exceptionally simple and old fashioned. I updated everything for Lexie and Raine. There are tour posts on Tumblr, here, here, here, and here.
- Laksmi is a good nanny and she does care for the children, the dog, and clean, in fact, they hired a maid but she seldom has much to do and leaves quickly. I did have to have Lexie and Raine take days off to teach the girls their skills because of course she doesn’t do that, and she’ll try to whisk them away or feed them regular bottles when Raine has made smart milk for them.
- Lexie’s lifetime want is to marry off 6 children, and I normally wouldn’t even bother, but with Falls Bridge being a new hood, I think it is a good idea to try, especially after seeing how well they were able to manage the twins. They’ve been trying for baby since the girls were born (frequently!), which freaked me out, and until the girls aged to toddler I put her back on birth control, but they haven’t conceived yet, and they may actually adopt soon.
- This made me laugh – Raine walked in from work and Lexie was lying in wait to try again for a babyI picture her here lobbying for adoption