The Tanakas - Round 2


Yuuna Tanaka, Elder Family Sim, LTW Marry Off 6 Children

Inari Tanaka, Child Family Sim, LTW Grow Up Well

Aki Tanaka, Child Popularity Sim, LTW Grow Up Well


Last time at the Tanakas, Yuuna nearly lost it trying to handle then-toddler grandchildren Aki and Inari, despite the help of teen grandchildren Jiro, Mariko, and Kimi. Even with the help of a butler, and later a nanny, couldn't keep the house afloat. The teens moved out to university, and things finally started to become manageable when the toddlers grew into children. Can things continue on an upward swing this winter? We'll see.

Yuuna and her two youngest grandchildren, Aki and Inari, sat in front of the television on a cold Sunday morning. They were all slowly becoming closer, in part because of their shared love for cuisine.

Yuuna still wasn't the best caretaker in the world, though, and the children came to accept that and learne to become independent in the house. They could bake in their oven if they were hungry, call the repairman if something broke, and clean nearly everything in the house thanks to necessity and practice. They made a bit of time to spend with Yuuna, true, but mostly they stuck together and ignored the rest of the world.

They giggled, gossiped, and played at all hours of the day, and they always managed to get themselves in bed and up in the morning to go to school. They were both extremely bright children, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to know that if they got in trouble at school, Yuuna might come down on them harder and start paying more attention to what they did.

Instead, they were happy to govern their own lives, pretty much autonomous.

Yuuna, having heard from her friend Santiago Villalobos that energy-producing elements could help alleviate bills, invested her last few thousand dollars in some wind turbines. When her next set of bills was due, she got a refund instead of a bill, and that money went toward a telescope for Inari and a sewing machine for her.

She couldn't afford to buy the children clothes, but if she got talented enough, it was possible she could make them some, she reasoned.

She could usually make a few items a day in the quiet while the children were at school, then took a nap just in time to wake up refreshed and ready to play with Aki and Inari as they got home.

They were so bright, they hardly needed her help in learning to study, but she dilligently stood by while they worked anyway.

Both of the children admitted that even though they could get tutoring at school if they needed it, Yuuna's help did make the job of studying and doing homework go faster than if they attempted it on their own.

All that hard work paid off, and their grades went slowly up, from a C to a B. With such rocky beginnings transitioning from toddlers to children, they started in the hole, but they were determined to work their way out.

After only another few days, they were both up to A+ report cards, and Inari immediately rushed off the bus waving her grades at Yuuna, excited that they had done it. Yuuna knew she didn't exactly have that much to do with their success, but it made her proud nonetheless. Not only that, with grades so high, she thought she could likely get the children into private school.

That night, she invited the headmaster over and greeted him at the door. She gave Inari the job of showing the headmaster the house while she made dinner. Inari started showing the man around, and when Yuuna went to the refrigerator, she panicked: there wasn't anything in the fridge except an old salad and a few frozen dinners! How could she have been so scatter-brained again!? "I'll ruin their chances!" she exclaimed softly, wringing her hands.

The telephone caught her eye, though, and she dialed swiftly to the market to order a delivery. If only they could stall. Inari had already finished with the tour

"Aki!" she whispered forcefully, when she found the boy playing with his blocks. "Go relieve your sister and chat to the headmaster. Tell him about your parents and how hard you've been working in school. Just keep talking until I call you for dinner, alright?" The little boy nodded and bounded up the stairs.

Finally, as night settled in, Yuuna finally had received her delivery and made pork chops, calling them all down for dinner. By that point, Aki was so exhausted, he simply went to bed.

Nevertheless, it was Aki who impressed the headmaster the most, and as he shook Yuuna's hand goodnight, he expressed his great enthusiasm for having such bright and promising children set to join Rosebud Academy. Yuuna sighed a huge sigh of relief and collapsed into bed, not even bothering to clean up the dinner dishes first.

The next morning, the children woke up early to find the whole world covered in a blanket of snow so deep they could hardly push the front door open. It was a snow day at school, and they tiptoed around the house so as not to wake the exhausted Yuuna, playing, watching tv, and eating in their pajamas.

They weren't so lucky as to have two days off, though. The next day, the snow melted a bit, the roads were cleared, and they headed off to their first day at Rosebud Academy. Apparently, most of the students there weren't very fit because Inari found that she was way stronger than most of them. It suited her fine. She was used to playing with boys anyway, having grown up with one.

Yuuna stayed home and spent every day sewing away at her sewing table, making what seemed like a parade of potholders until finally, she felt comfortable trying something new. She found a few new patters for teddy bears and curtains and set to work trying her hand at the more challenging items.

That afternoon, Aki brought a friend home from school, the pretty Tessa Ramirez. She was the smartest girl in Aki's science class, and he was pleased to find she wasn't at all stuck up either. "Hey, do you wanna stay for our birthday?" Aki asked her. "Me and my sister?" "Okay," Tessa said, shrugging.

In the kitchen, Yuuna had placed a cake for each child, and Inari stood to ponder a birthday wish. "I wish to have pretty, smart babies someday!" she thought, and blew out the candles. She grew up into a beautiful teen right before their eyes.

Inari Tanaka, Teen Family Sim, LTW Become Education Minister

Aki was next, and he pondered his wish just as carefully. "I wish to know lots and lots and lots of people and always be really cool and popular and have a dog." He blew out the candles, and poof, he became a teenager.

Aki Tanaka, Teen Popularity Sim, LTW Have 20 Simultaneous Pet Best Friends

They all gorged themselves on cake and turned in for the night. Winter was giving way to spring, they could feel it in the air, and great things were on the horizon for them, if they just kept up their good work.

Next up, follow the Rosebud teens to University. Will Alain, Fiona, Caitlin, Enzo, Paolo, and Vincente sink or swim in the big new world of Sim State? Will Jiro, Mari, and Kimi be able to build up the status of their greek house, the Oresha Cham House, before they graduate? Stay tuned to find out.



No new points.

Net worth to be added to the neighborhood total: $26,742

[[Author's Notes: Boy, this was a brief update, huh? They're a pretty simple household. The kids play, skill, do their homework and eat muffins, and Yuuna sews and sleeps. That's pretty much it. I hope I can get Yuuna up to making clothes before she dies. I decided that since I gave all the other oldies in the 'hood a swig of elixir, I would give her one too, to make it fair/even. Only problem is that no one in the house has enough aspiration points to get it! Thankfully, she survived the round, though, and the older teens have aspiration points coming out their ears, so one of them will foot the "bill" for the elixir when they return to the family home. Nothing much else of note to say other than I love green energy solutions!!!]]

This Entry's MP3:
I Can Do It Without You by Kaiser Chiefs (from the album Yours Truly, Angry Mob)

Not a blooper, but awwww. // I dare Maxis to find a domestic cat who will do this.

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The Villaloboses - Round 2


Santiago Villalobos, Elder Fortune Sim, LTW Own 5 Top Level Businesses

Vincente Villalobos, Teen Romance Sim, LTW Become Celebrity Chef

Diego Villalobos, Child Fortune Sim, LTW Grow Up Well

Catalina Villalobos, Child Fortune Sim, LTW Grow Up Well

Dorotea Villalobos, Child Family Sim, LTW Grow Up Well


Last season in the Villalobos home, the children tried to cope with the fact that their parents had died, not realizing the truth that they simply ran away and left them with their grandfather, Santiago. They built some strong family bonds in their grandfather's home, redesigned to accomodate three children and a teen. This season, as winter closes in, Vinnie is scheduled to go off to school, and the children have some birthdays coming up. Santiago's love interest, Roisin Cleary, also makes an appearance.

Drawn closer together by the "death" of their parents and the close quarters at their abuelo's house, the children learned to enjoy doing things together. Dot and Diego were outside despite the chilly temperatures of winter, jump roping and playing cops and robbers.

Cat, meanwhile, spent some time indoors with her big brother Vinnie, who was going away to college soon. "Will you come see us?" Catalina asked, not giving him time to answer before she pushed on. "Are you coming back when you're done? What will you study? Can we come visit you? Can I have your room?" Vinnie rolled his eyes, but the corner of his mouth quirked upward in an amused smile. "Yes, I'll come visit. I don't know if I'll come back when I'm done. I think I'm doing culinary stuff. And..." he paused, trying to recall the other questions. "Maybe, and no." Catalina pouted at the last.

While the children were occupied, Santiago took the opportunity to invite his "crush," Roisin Cleary, over to visit. She was a stunning woman for her age, and Santiago certainly knew how to charm her.

Roisin was both relieved and excited to have Santiago in her life. After so much unhappiness, he had the capability of making her feel like a girl again.

Santiago had to admit, he hardly felt the creaks and aches of his joints when she was around. The children kept him active, for sure, but Roisin kept him feeling young.

So young, in fact, that he couldn't help but pull her tight and lean her back over the couch, kissing her so madly that it left her breathless and trembling faintly from the whirlwind romance of it all. She hadn't kissed anyone but her late husband for so long that she'd forgotten what it was like in the beginning, when everything was still exhilarating and new.

"You're awful, Santiago Villalobos," Roisin teased in her faint brogue. Santiago only tugged her up onto his lap. "And you don't seem to mind, Ms. Cleary," he replied, stealing one more kiss. The sound of the back bedroom door opening made them shift apart quickly, and Santiago squeezed Roisin's hand. "We're having a birthday party for the children tonight. I'd love you to stay." Of course, she did.

In the kitchen, all three children got to stand in front of a little cake Santiago had bought each of them.

One by one, Catalina...


...and Dorotea grew up into beautiful young teens.

Catalina Villalobos, Teen Fortune Sim, LTW Become Hall of Famer

Diego Villalobos, Teen Fortune Sim, LTW Become World Class Ballet Dancer (*snort!*)

Dorotea Villalobos, Teen Family Sim, LTW Become Education Minister

They all had a good smustle, gorged themselves on cake, and went to bed, exhausted but very happy sims. Their luck couldn't continue to be so fantastic, though.

Outside, as they slept, a burglar crept up to the front door, which Santiago had forgotten to lock in the midst of all the party excitement. Jessica Ebadi didn't even have to break a window or even pick a lock. She simply walked in the front door.

What she failed to notice, however, was that the burglar alarm had sounded the moment she arrived, and the cops were outside the house before she could even decide what to take.

The alarm woke everyone out of their happy slumbers, and they ran, terrified, into the living room to see Rosebud's finest grappling with the burglar on their living room floor. "Kick her ass!" Catalina shouted, noting Santiago's sharp look in her direction. "What?" she asked, shrugging, though her expression was guilty. So much for teenage freedoms.

Eventually, justice prevailed, and Jessica was cuffed and taken to jail by the officer.

Nothing was stolen, and they got a cash reward for helping to catch a known criminal, but it still left them all feeling violated, angry, and unhappy as they made their way back to their beds.

The next morning, Santiago decided that a good thing to do with the money they'd received was to buy something nice they could all use, and something that Dot in particular had requested. That very morning, they had a flower bench delivered to the house, and Dot holed herself delightedly up in hers and Cat's bedroom, making lopsided daisy bouquets.

Catalina, always a hardy girl, seemed to recover quite nicely when she noticed that she was now big enough to give her "big" brother Vinnie a noogie. "You're not so big anymore, Vinnie!" she cried delightedly, "You're just old!"

Diego, ever the enterprising fortune-minded boy ("Takes after his abuelo," Santiago had commented, proud as a peacock, the night before.) decided to see if he could find a job in the dance career. He loved playing around with his sisters and making up dance moves to the radio. Maybe he could make money from it. Sure enough, there was an opening position, and he snapped it up. The pay was terrible, but it was a start.

Diego wasn't the only one earning money that day, though. Dot made a smart move passing up some gnarly fish in the cafeteria. "I barely trust the food they make here when it smells normal," she was overheard commenting at the lunch table. "Let alone when it smells like a gym shoe."

It turns out she'd made a wise decision. She escaped food poisoning AND got a fat check for it!

That night, Vinnie slid into the computer chair while his newly-grown siblings cranked up the stereo and danced loudly in the living room. He loved his siblings, truly, but he felt even more cramped now that they were getting older. Not only that, he couldn't stop thinking about getting a girlfriend, and how could he ever get one living in a house that didn't even own a double-bed? Impulsively, he clicked around until he found some scholarship websites. He didn't qualify for many, but it turned out that his good grades would get him a thousand dollars toward his tuition!

In addition, the fact that his parents were "officially" dead, he also got an orphan grant. At least some good came of that lie, he thought.

He made the announcement that night, and his siblings waved him off. Santiago hugged Vinnie before he left, not really surprised at Vinnie's decision to go to college early or his sudden announcement of it. The boy had been pretty solitary since his parents had left, and the weight of the truth lay heavy on his shoulders.

"Be good," was the only advice Santiago gave Vinnie as he watched him climb into the taxi. "I will, Abuelo," Vinnie said, appreciating the old man's understanding and acceptance of his decision.

The house seemed decidedly less crowded without Vinnie's quiet presence, but they still sat down to have meals together, despite the fact they were missing one.

The teens were all miraculously industrious. They seemed to have been imbued with a work ethic not because it was beat into them but because they didn't want to disappoint Santiago. He was the sort of man who only needed to give you a look to straighten you out.

Diego took his first paycheck and put it toward a ballet barre. He checked out a few books on technique from the school library and began practicing at home with the hope that he could maybe someday get into a ballet school.

Catalina was working out a lot too. If she wanted to become a Hall of Famer someday, she knew she'd have to be in much better shape. She wasn't in BAD shape now, but she could definitely get toned.

That day, while the kids were in school, Santiago got good news! The solar panels and wind turbines he'd cautiously invested his money in turned out to be a wise choice for some of the money that the children's parents had left behind. He no longer paid bills but got money back because their green solutions were producing more energy than they could use.

The kids came home with great news too - they all managed to become 4.0 students, with A+s. Santiago's expression told them all they needed to know about how proud he was, but he congratulated them and told them as much anyway.

"With grades as good as those, you could probably go places..." Santiago commented thoughtfully, and the kids knew he was up to something. "Like Hawaii?" Dot joked. "Like a private school," Santiago answered seriously. The kids thought about this. "Would it mean more work?" they wanted to know. "Maybe a little bit, but that will make it easier for you to get into college in the long-run," he answered. "All right, then," they agreed, and Santiago called the Headmaster to invite him over. He dressed in his best tweed suit for the occasion.

"I need your help, Cat," he told Catalina, and she put on her fanciest dress.

The headmaster arrived, and Catalina greeted him warmly, offering to give him a tour of the Villalobos house.

Santiago, meanwhile, worked at making a fine dinner for them as Cat showed the headmaster around their modest but tidy house.

By the end of the night, despite Santiago's first batch of pork chops burning to a crisp, they managed to successfully get admitted into Rosebud Academy. It seemed nothing could keep these Villalobos kids down. At least not with the help from their Abuelo.

The rest of the evening was spent doing some gentle exercise (for Dot)...

...making new pet friends...

...and spending time together. Soon it was time for bed, and they all turned in happily. Another great accomplishment for them this week, and in the morning, they would start at Rosebud Academy.

Their first day, they were immediate successes, as Santiago knew they would be. With the hard work ethic of his grandchildren and their outgoing personalities, they were destined for greatness, it seemed, and built for overcoming adversity.

Catalina even brought a friend home from school, though he didn't stay long because Catalina wanted to see if she could find a job in the athletic field that night. If she wanted to get a head start out of college, it would be smart for her to begin before she even left.

She snagged a job as a locker room attendant and was pleased with how much it paid - surprise to her, but a pleasant one, as she had never been able to earn her own money before. While she was browsing, she noticed that there was also a job in Dot's career of choice: education.

She pointed it out, and Dot got her first job that night too, as a Teacher's Aide. Now all three teens were employed, in private school, and rapidly improving their skills every day. "The sky's the limit with hard work and a good attitude," Santiago counseled that night at dinner, smiling that small, proud smile of his.

That night, while she went out to fill in a hole one of the neighborhood dogs had dug in the yard, she was surprised to see her strange wolf friend come back again. She spent a good long time playing with him, stroking him, and even rubbing his belly. He certainly was sweet, and he took to Dot quickly.

That evening at work, Diego got an interesting opportunity. He had the choice to either choose dance or gymnastics at school. Each had their benefits, but in the end, he decided to expand his horizons, and it paid off.

He gained even more enthusiasm for his chosen career that night and, even better...

Reached the top of his career! The bonus was great, he loved his job, and he loved being able to contribute to the household funds while doing something he enjoyed so much. He was on such a role, he decided to apply for some college scholarships that night, just to see what he might be able to get.

He was shocked to discover he qualified for three different scholarships! "Excellent!" he muttered to himself. "One less thing Abuelo has to pay for." He crashed into bed, tired from all his hard work, and his sisters weren't far behind when they returned from their jobs. They could sleep now and do their homework in the morning. Santiago found himself in the unusual position of having the house mostly to himself that evening.

He decided to invite Roisin over, whom he now coyly thought of as his "girlfriend." Outside, the air was chilly but not as biting as it had been, and he pulled Roisin into his arms for a dance. "Where are the children?" she asked curiously, eyes twinkling. "Sound asleep. They've been working so hard lately. I'm so proud of them," he shared, the it showed on his face.

"They've had a good example," Roisin complimented, then leaned over and made a suggestion in his ear. Santiago pulled back with surprise, but his eyes were delighted. "Have you mistaken us for the teenagers inside?" he teased, but he took her by the hand and led her to the car. After all, it was the only place they could really be alone.

Santiago turned the radio on quietly to a station that played oldies, and they talked for a while. Talking led to holding hands, though, and holding hands led to kissing.

Inevitably, kissing led to...other things.

It was a perfect night, and they kissed dreamily goodbye, not at all unlike the teenagers inside asleep.

The next day, the three kids went off to school as usual and went to their jobs as usual. Catalina came home early with a promotion; she had the highest paying job of all of them and loved giving her Abuelo Santiago a day's pay to help with groceries.

Dot also got a promotion and made no bones about celebrating it. "Check me out, guys!!! I am superteacher, booyah!" she called, spreading her arms wide and boasting. Her siblings merely laughed and shook their heads. "Come on, superteach, let's go somewhere," Diego said, calling up their mutual friend Amber McArthur, to invite her to go downtown with them. Santiago happily approved their outing, only cautioning them to be safe and home at a reasonable hour. "In other words, by midnight," he called with a partial smirk, knowing the definition of "reasonable" differed greatly depending on how old you were.

Amber showed up at the front door, and Diego was shocked. He hadn't seen her since she'd grown up, and she'd grown up well, to say the least. He complimented her pretty dress, eyes wide. "You look great," he said, surprised at how his childhood friend had turned into a beautiful girl seemingly overnight.

"Thanks," she said, cheeks turning pink. "You too." They cemented their friendship with those simple words. Diego, his sisters, and Amber headed out for Sims Gone Wired, leaving Santiago in the peace and quiet of the house.

He settled in to do some pottery, and he managed to earn his first bronze talent badge in pottery.

"Finally!" he breathed. "I can make something other than those stupid, boring plates!"

Meanwhile, at Sims Gone Wired, Diego spent some of his recent earnings on a hand-held game, which he'd craved since he saw one long ago, owned by one of his friends before they moved to Rosebud. Catalina got a cell phone, because she was dying to get all the cool features and capabilities that the kids at their posh private school had. They all sat down and had dinner, then played the various games around the shop.

Diego came up to Amber halfway through the night. "I really meant what I said earlier. You look beautiful," he complimented. She laughed somewhat nervously, but gave him a hug. She meant it to be friendly, but she held on too tight and for a bit too long. Her heart fluttered. She didn't know that Diego's did too.

As they slowly parted, he let his hands fall to hers and swung them gently for a moment.

Without thinking, and without saying a word, he leaned in and kissed her, right there in front of the magazine display. It wasn't planned, and it wasn't the most romantic thing in the world, sure, but it was the easiest thing he'd done all night.

The teens walked home afterward, Cat and Dot with their arms linked, giggling as they walked ahead of the moon-eyed Diego and Amber, following slowly behind, moony-eyed. Life was turning out pretty alright.

Next up, Yuuna, Aki, and Inari continue to regain normalcy and even excell in the Tanaka home!



No new points

Net worth to be added to neighborhood total: $29,060

[[Author's notes: Le sigh, the Villaloboses are the cutest family ever. They are still superclose, Santiago look like he's going to live a loooong time, and everything jsut works out perfectly. These kids are like the workaholic overachievers of the neighborhood. It's really funny how personalities really start to come out for you; or maybe that's just me. I know that any sim could work just as hard, it just seems like it fits these kids. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure all of you regular simmers out there know what I mean.

Not much commentary here, so I leave you with music and bloopers!

This Entry's MP3:
Canned Heat by Jamiroquai (from the album Synkronized and, yes, Napoleon Dynamite. THIS BAND ROCKS!)

Wow, need to study anger management much, Dot? // Santiago's failed first attempt at pork chops was on the floor the whole time the headmaster was there. Whoops! // Haha, old people making out. Gross. :')

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