It’s time for the Bruce family!

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Back row, left to right: Michael, Ramsay, Malvina, Mhairi

Front: Dand, Andrea, Bigelow

(The family has 3 other cats, but they didn’t choose to be photographed. And apparently someone bought another pet at the pet store last round, but I was mean and wouldn’t let them keep it. 4 cats is quite enough.)

But wait, isn’t someone missing?

snapshot_ba372f43_3e22f075Catriona, Andrea’s alien child, is still banished to the second floor. Andrea either doesn’t realize she’s still there, or is in denial about the whole thing. In any case, Catriona’s older sisters have taken on the job of taking care of her and teaching her skills, with a nanny while they’re in school.

snapshot_ba372f43_fe22ed48Andrea had a good morning, learning that she inherited money from Larisa Pavlov. That was good – she had to return to work today, for the first time since that nasty little incident, and she needed all the good vibes she could get.

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Michael had finished getting all his college scholarships last season. Now, with three days until he headed off for university, he found himself a bit at loose ends. He spent most of the morning watching TV.

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Ramsay was a bit sad that Annika, one of his main squeezes, had grown up and was off limits, but he consoled himself by getting to know the cute papergirl.

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Everyone headed off for school and work, leaving the house nearly empty.

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Catriona didn’t notice, as she napped on her blanket most of the day.

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Meanwhile, Nanny Kendall hung out in the kitchen and enjoyed the bar.

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Mhairi brought Isaiah Gavigan home from school. She was a little cool to him last season, but it seems her feelings have warmed considerably.

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Since they didn’t quite have enough to pay their taxes, Dand and the other teens headed down to the electronics store, where they made $10,000 profit in six hours.

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Back home, Michael transferred ownership of the bookstore to Andrea – only temporarily, until he’s back from college. I’ve decided not to allow uni students to own businesses, because I don’t want to have to deal with taxes or running businesses when I’m playing the college households.

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“Hey, Dad, can I go out with Lluis tonight?”

“Well…” Dand looked around to make sure Andrea wasn’t around. “What about…you know…”

“It’s fine, she’s asleep. And Malvina can keep an eye on her.”

“Well, all right. Just don’t be out too late.”

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The next morning, Mhairi gave Catriona her bottle before school. “After you drink this, play on your bunny head until you get tired, and then you can sleep on your blanket. Remember to stay nice and quiet.”

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Shortly after the kids left for school, though, Andrea decided to dispose of the old newspaper in the upstairs trashcan.

She froze in her tracks when the door opened and a little girl toddled out.

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The child followed her into Mhairi’s room. With a toddler blanket, changing table, fridge, and baby bottles, it was pretty obvious to Andrea what was going on here.

Then the little girl looked up at her with a piteous face. “Mama?”

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“Well, you’re…” Andrea found herself stopping down to pat the girl on the head. “There, you’re all right.”

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The girl still looked unhappy, so Andrea picked her up. There was something about having a warm toddler snuggled against her…

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The door opened, and an elderly woman entered. Andrea was at once horrified and embarrassed. This woman, this stranger, knew her secret shame! “Who are you?” she demanded. “What are you doing in my house?”

“I, uh, I’m here to care for the child,” the nanny stammered, gesturing toward the little girl on the floor. “I’m here from 8 to 1, Monday through Friday.”

“Not anymore, you’re not,” Andrea said. “Get out, and never come here again.”

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Dand had come up after hearing the commotion. As the nanny left, Andrea wheeled on him. “You! You told me you got rid of it! Instead I find that not only is it still here, SOMEONE is spending our hard earned cash on a nanny for it!”

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Dand considered telling Andrea that he had never actually promised her he would get rid of the child, but decided he was better off with a strategic lie. “I called the social worker. She said they couldn’t take just one child that wasn’t wanted. She can only remove all the children if the home is unfit. So she would have had to take all the kids. Is that what you want, Andrea? Because I can call her back.”

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Andrea sighed. “Well, I guess we’ll have to put up with her, then. I have to go to work.”

Dand waved, glad to see the argument over, even if nothing had really been resolved.

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Dand supposed it was a good thing he had the day off work, since Andrea had fired the nanny. He left the toddler on her bunny head and went out to harvest the year’s last tomatoes, wondering what they were going to do about child care tomorrow.

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Catriona seemed happy enough to play with her bunny head, and showed no sign of being bothered by the fight over her presence.

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Dand and Michael headed down to the bookstore in the afternoon, getting it up to level 7.

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Buttons, the only cat with a job, got a promotion, hooray!

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Michael made dinner and set out plates at the ridiculously long table, but only Malvina was hungry.

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When she got home from work, Andrea was unsurprised to find the older alien in the living room, using her wiles on an unsuspecting teen boy. Of course, the Gavigan family was known to be rather poor, so it probably wasn’t too surprising that their oldest boy was falling for someone like Mhairi.

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After dinner, Malvina got to know Isaiah. She really liked him, but was careful to keep things fun – she wasn’t sure if he was actually Mhairi’s boyfriend or not, and didn’t want to make a move unless it was clear that he was available.

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“What we doing, Mawy?”

“We’re taking a bath, Catty. Now that Andrea knows about you, I can bring you down to the tub.”

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“I think maybe I want to be a musician when I grow up.”

“I can open for you with my entertainment act!”

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The next morning, Malvina decided it was time for a more mature hairstyle. She was halfway through her teen years, after all.

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Mhairi overslept, and almost missed the school bus. Only after the bus pulled away did she remember that she and her dad had never decided what to do about child care that day.

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Catriona wasn’t worried. She’d found Malvina’s old doll house, and had a grand time chewing on the dolls.

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Melanie, the kitten, grew into an adult cat. I’m quite disappointed.

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See, these are Melanie’s parents – Baby on top and Bigelow on the bottom. I really thought their kitten would be more interesting looking.

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Fortunately, Dand had stayed home from work to take care of Catriona, so he invited his friend Brandi over and sold Melanie to her. Perhaps I’ll try again with the cat breeding schemes.

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As soon as they got home from school, Ramsay and Michael headed down to the bookstore one last time. They got up to level 8, and Ramsay also lucked out and managed to meet several of the neighborhood’s adult Romance sims.

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Back home, it was Date Wednesday. Malvina invited Dimitri over for a little fun, while Ramsay and Michael both got on their phones as soon as they got home.

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Michael invited his steady girlfriend Mireia over for one last hurrah before he went to college, while Ramsay decided to get to know Feofil Pavlov a little better.

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“Malvina, why are you and your boyfriend in your underwear?”

“Uh…we were cleaning the tub and we got wet!” Malvina swiftly changed the subject. “This is really awesome pie, Mhairi. Thanks for making it.”

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That evening, it was time for Catriona’s birthday. She was glad to have her two big sisters there.

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“Look, Mhairi and Malvina, I grew up!”

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That night, it was time for Michael and Ramsay to head off to college. My very first uni students! (I’ve decided that teens will leave for college when they’re at 2 days to adult, so that they have time to enjoy their teen years.)

Both boys earned the grades scholarship and all 7 skill scholarships, for a total of $6250 each. They also have plenty of money saved to get them through school. Michael has $11,500 in his bank account – as the Bruce family heir, he doesn’t have to worry about buying a house after college, so that will be plenty. Ramsay has $39,300. I’m not quite sure how he accumulated that much, but he did manage his “Earn $100k” LTW early in his teen years, so it makes sense.

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“Malvina, why are you and Dimitri in your underwear?”

“We’re playing a game. Is that Mhairi’s old shirt?”

“I don’t know. I found it in the dresser. Mother said I’m not allowed to have any new clothes.”

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“Um, Catriona, what are you typing there?”

“I’m chatting with someone named Chloe.”

“Shouldn’t you go to bed? You can sleep in my old room. I’m taking Ramsay’s room.”

So Catriona went to bed, and Malvina and Dimitri finally got some privacy.

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After making sure to ask her dad’s permission, Mhairi headed out with Isaiah for the evening. She loved her little sister, but she was glad that Catriona was a little more self sufficient now.

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After her date, Malvina sat down to do her homework before going to bed.

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In the morning, Andrea sat down to get started on her newest novel. Like all of her novels, it attempted to paint a clear picture of the dangers aliens posed to sim society.

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Malvina did some studying before school.

Rather than making my sim teens study all the time to get all their skill scholarships, I’ve decided that in most households I’ll require kids and teens to earn at least one skill point per day. They can earn more if they want, but that should be enough to earn at least a few skill scholarships.

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“Mmm, smells good. Are you making pancakes?”

“Cheesecake.”

“Ooh, sounds delicious. Make sure you save me a slice!”

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Catriona hurried out the door in the morning, excited to go to school. Andrea tried to ignore her presence.

Andrea had wanted to save the expense and enroll Catriona in public school, but Dand had used the same argument he’d used to get Mhairi in private school – wouldn’t people talk if Catriona was the only Bruce child in public school?

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Dand had the day off, so he spent some time working with the cats on their skills.

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Mhairi brought Anzhelina Pederson home from school.

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After a nice outing, she headed off to do her homework, which she’d neglected the night before. Fortunately, being a day late hadn’t affected her grades.

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“Hey, Catty, how was school?”

“Pretty good. Can you help me with my homework?”

“Sure.”

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“It’s always best to do your homework as soon as you get home, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“Even on Fridays?”

“Definitely on Fridays. It’s even more important then.”

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The Bruce family had several visitors that afternoon, all playables.

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Mhairi earned her 8th body point, so she’s good for all the skill scholarships.

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“Yeah, it’s pretty cool. We’re doing adding and subtracting.”

Andrea kept her eyes focused on the computer screen, but carefully noted the alien’s speech patterns. She supposed one advantage of having two aliens in the house was that she did get a lot of great material for her novels.

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Malvina served her cheesecake to the guests, and it was a huge hit.

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“We’ve both got to be best friends to Catriona, since Andrea’s so hard on her.”

Malvina had a mouthful of pancakes, but nodded. She loved little Catriona, and it was hard to see her mother reject her.

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A little while later, it was time for school and work, except for Andrea. She had the day off.

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She spent most of the day working on her latest novel, full of new material about alien behavior.

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Mhairi brought home her good friend Marya Hamilton, and Malvina took the time to get to know her. Marya was Dimitri’s sister, after all, and therefore well worth knowing.

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Catriona brought home Adam Carr and spent the afternoon getting to know him. She was glad to make a friend, and to learn that nobody at school hated her for being an alien the way Andrea did.

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“Hey, Mhairi, congratulations on being hot!”

“Um, thanks, Malvina.”

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“Yeah, I’ll be glad when the sun comes out and we can spend more time outside.”

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Aw, look at the adorable wittle newspaper thief!

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Andrea and Dand went down to the bookstore for a few hours to get in the full 24 hour business running for the season.

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After the store was closed, they enjoyed having the place to themselves.

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While her parents were gone, Malvina invited Dimitri over for one last date before he went to college.

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Catriona decided to try her hand at painting. She knew her big brothers had gone off to college, and she would need money if she wanted to go there someday, too.

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“So, how exciting is it that we both earned the alien reparations scholarship?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.”

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“Promise you won’t forget me when you’re a big man on campus.”

“Don’t worry, Malvina. I could never forget you.”

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Andrea’s latest book in her Alien Menace series was an instant bestseller.

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Dimitri was quick to show that he wasn’t forgetting Malvina, leaving a great gift that night.

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“Sweet dreams, Catriona.”

That’s it for the Bruce family! Next up is the Hamiltons.

Stats:

Family: Bruce

Businesses:

Wired, Rank 10

Bruce & Son Booksellers, Rank 8

Town Fund payments: $23,400 (taxes $14,400, school fees $9,000)

Playable sims 88

Sim multiplier 38

Population 3344

 

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