Last time at the Cleary household, Neal and Tessa both worked toward their LTWs. Tessa still had a few promotions to go before she was the head of the SCIA, but she was making good progress. Neal was even closer to his second LTW goal. Tallulah aged well into a teenager, and Phoenix aged well into a child. Colm finally achieved his lifetime want of having 20 simultaneous best friends, and Michelle retired from her business career. Tallulah and Phoenix bonded well, having no idea that their mother was pregnant again and expecting a new baby or babies. Let's see how this new family is doing this round.
At the beginning of the season, we check back in with the Clearys and find that they are behaving as their typical overachiever selves, starting with Tallulah becoming fit thanks to the Electro Dance Sphere.
Tessa, newly pregnant, was off work for maternity leave, and she found that the only thing she craved was cheesecake. She couldn't get enough of the stuff.
The rest of the household was aware of Tessa's pregnancy, but Neal and his daughter kept a close eye on Colm. He was getting older, and he was starting to show some signs of dementia, which worried Tallulah and her like-minded knowledge sim father.
For instance, it seemed that whenever he cooked for the family anymore, he grossly overestimated the number of people eating. Not only that, he was almost solely residing on a diet of grilled cheese. It worried Neal and Tallulah.
Life went on, however, or at least that's how Neal felt things should go. His concern about his aging father didn't prohibit him from earning new achievements and constantly increasing his knowledge base. When he finally felt himself to be an expert in mechanical skill, he understood that he'd reached a goal of becoming a renaissance man: well-skilled in a variety of different subjects.
To reward himself for maximizing his skills, he purchased a guitar for himself. After all, as a new dad and a doctor, he needed some way to unwind.
Michelle and Colm, the two oldest members of the household, found their own ways to entertain themselves. Shockingly, one day while they were having a date, an unexpected visitor showed up...with a sicle.
Michelle was disappointed that she didn't get to finish her date, let alone bone her long-time hubby before their date was over. But apparently Death waited for no woman, including her.
Michelle was doing her business with Death, not noticing poor, confused Colm. Colm: "What's going on?? Where's Michelle? Ooh, hula dancers!!" In the meantime...
Neal: "I don't understand why my parents can't keep their bedroom neat. I mean, how much effort does it take to pull up the bedsheets?"
Colm: "You're a sucky date!!"
At first, it seems only Tallulah understands what has taken place in the Cleary home that day. She lost her loving grandmother, and though her grilled cheese lunch is delicious, she still mourns the loss greatly.
Colm, too, finally comes to realize exactly what event ruined his date with his beloved wife. :( I'm sorry, Colm. You'll join her soon, I'm sure.
Neal and Phoenix's realization of Michelle's death follow shortly thereafter, and finally the house is grieving in a proper way for it's dearly departed matriarch.
Rest In Peace, Michelle. You were a good townie-cum-playable, and your family will definitely miss you.
Tallulah, stunned by the death of her grandmother -- the first major death she'd ever witnessed -- began to belie her sensible habits and took to acting out. She boldly snuck out with her best friend one night while the entire family was inside watching tv and hanging out in the living room.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Tallulah's "life of crime" came to an end when she was brought home early the next morning by a police officer who'd caught her breaking curfew. Not only had she been brought home in the back of a cop car, but she'd been caught by a REALLY cute cop. She would never outlive the mortification.
It wasn't just Tallulah that was affected strangely by Michelle's death, though. Colm began to really accept his mortality in a way he never had before. He rewrote his will and left everything to Neal, even giving him some of his prize possessions. Neal almost didn't want to take them because he understood what Colm's sudden generosity with presents meant.
Little did anyone in the house know, though, but that the gypsy woman who flitted through town would make a stop at the Cleary house that season.
She left a strange present on the front lawn, and who should encounter it first but Colm? He quickly, almost desperately, rubbed the lamp and awaited the fabled genie to appear.
The genie rapidly granted Colm's wish, unbeknownst to the rest of the family. What did he wish for? Well, what any elderly man who had just lost his wife would wish for: the power to cheat death.
Before Colm could find out if the genie had true powers or not, something else took precedence in the season's activities: Tessa was going into labor.
Apparently, either Neal was especially fertile or that cheesecake did wonders, Tessa gave birth to twins that day.
The first baby was born: a boy, and Tessa immediately continued her labor after handing off her first baby to Grandpa Colm.
Baby number two was another boy, and Tessa was delighted not only with her new sons but also to be done with the painful labor process!
When Neal got home that night, they decided on traditional Irish names for the twins: Damien and Declan. Damien favored Neal in looks and Declan favored Tessa, though they both had their mother's brown hair and chocolate brown eyes.
With the population increase in the Cleary house, it was necessary to do a bit of expansion. Tessa and Neal's bedroom got moved, and the second floor gained some extra ground for a nursery and toddler training area for the new babies.
After the twins were born, Tessa immediately set about working off the baby weight, as she still had aspirations to become the head of the SCIA. She knew she couldn't do it without being in peak physical condition.
As for Neal, his routine didn't change much aside from helping with diapers and feeding time. He decided to take up his father's hobby of gardening in his spare time. It not only made him feel closer to the earth, it made him feel closer to Colm, who seemed to be fading by the day.
He still continued to work hard at his job, though, and he was rewarded with a promotion to Chief of Staff: a goal he'd been striving to achieve for over a year.
Having achieved his goal at such a young age, he decided that next, he wanted to become more adventurous. Space Pirate seemed like a title he'd love to achieve, and with his past record of success, he felt that he could achieve it no problem.
Tallulah and Phoenix began to adjust better to life without their grandmother. They spent a lot of time together, especially playing chess. Phoenix constantly caught his sister cheating him, which made him angry but also flattered him. Apparently, he had a knack for the game that she felt she couldn't overcome otherwise.
Tallulah really began to step up and become a more responsible teenager in the weeks following the twins' birth. She helped out whenever her parents were exhausted and really tried to be a good older sister to all of her siblings. It didn't go unnoticed or unappreciated by Tessa and Neal, who were frequently exhausted between working full time and trying to raise four children.
Fortunately or unfortunately, it was soon time for the twins to grow up into toddlers. True, it would mean they were a bit more independent, but it also meant the terrible twos and lots of skills to be learned. Neal and Tessa delighted in their family, however, and they were happy to see their little boys growing up.
They were especially surprised to see how different the boys turned out. Damien especially favored Neal, in looks but not personality. Declan favored Tessa in looks but was her opposite in personality. The magic and surprise of genetics never ceased to amaze the two young parents.
The following weeks were filled with lots of sleepless or nearly-sleepless nights for Tessa and Neal. The toddlers were more able to entertain themselves, but they were so young and in need of skill training. Tessa and Neal were frequently up into the late hours of the night teaching their youngest children how to walk, talk, or use the potty.
It was a benefit that they were both exceptional parents, though. The training responsibilities didn't fall too heavily on either Neal or Tessa because they both worked hard to split the labor equally. As a result, they both managed to survive on little but equal amounts of sleep while simultaneously working hard to support their family financially and raise their children well.
Tallulah and Phoenix were mercifully more independent now. Tallulah was frequently found either studying or on the phone, and Phoenix could almost always be found peering up into the heavens with the family telescope, researching his family history with fervor.
Neal and Tessa even managed to squeeze out a few moments here and there just to themselves. It wasn't easy with such a full house, but the fact was that they loved one another, and a little intimacy went a long way toward recharging their batteries.
That season, they had the first sighting of Michelle's ghost. At first, it seemed a happy occasion.
It was quickly revealed that Michelle wasn't nearly as loving as a ghostly grandmother as she was when she was alive, but nevertheless, the family was glad to know she was still around...despite the restless nights and the occasional self-wettings due to shock.
As for Tessa, she continued to soldier on admirably. After giving birth to three and raising four children, she still managed to achieve her lifetime want of becoming the head of the SCIA. It was hands-down one of the proudest moments of her life.
Despite the happiness professional success brought her, it was her family that truly brought her the most pleasure, however. One chilly fall night, the entire family minus the twins gathered to celebrate Phoenix's transition into teen-dom.
He turned out to be as handsome as his daddy, if drastically different-looking, and he made a decision as he blew out his candles that he wanted to be the sexiest sim in Rosebud. Teenaged ladies had better watch out: Phoenix Cleary was on the prowl.
[[Author's Notes: SHEW. I didn't realize so much had happened at the Cleary house in round 13! There were fifty pictures for this update, which is a lot more than I normally have. It was a total blast to play, though, and I decided to let Tessa and Neal procreate as much as they want to since there is a dearth of Clearys in the Rosebud 'hood. I trust they will produce some of the most good-looking children in the land, which doesn't exactly discourage me from letting them breed uninterrupted. I'm shocked at how differently the twins turned out but delighted at the same time. There's definitely an even divide between looks and personality of their parents shown in the youngest boys. I can't wait to see how they grow up! No bloopers for you; they were all included in the update. (LOL at everyone taking FOREVER to notice Michelle died...it was seriously almost a full 24 hours.) ]]