skipping rocks

july 2017
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Finn McCarthy (44 years), Nicole (44 years), Julius (11 years), Elias (11 years), Zilla (11 years), Lily (5 years)

narrated by: Finn

I was fired last October after my research was discredited. It was brought to the attention of the Board of Educators at Eastborough University without my knowledge, and I was fired the next day. The entire thing had been sudden and there was not much of a cushion to catch us. I had tried finding a new position, but all roads were blocked in the research community, and I’ve been unemployed since.

I’m not sure if it was pity, but Grace had asked if I wouldn’t mind babysitting her daughters Ainsley and Isla. I love my grandchildren, but I wasn’t sure I was really capable of the job, but with Nicole’s encouragement agreed on a temporary basis.

That was last spring before Isla was even born, and I’m still watching the girls. Grace brings them by in the morning on her way into the Salon Sisters, and Nicole is usually just heading out the door to Zoe-Gen herself.

The girls are good, and Nicole usually comes home early on the days that they are here. It’s helpful in the summer to have all the kids home, especially Lily. While Elias doesn’t mind watching Ainsley, Lily enjoys playing with her.

I’m not sure I can do this job forever, I get a little jealous hearing about Nicole’s busy day at work. I used to have stories of coworkers to share, and now there’s just not that much to say other than dirty diapers and a few cute stories here and there. And even those stories are generally pretty similar.

I am enjoying the time with the kids though, I’ve missed a lot over the years with my own, and at least I can enjoy them now. But I am relieved when Benjamin or Grace comes by to pick up the girls. If anything, the house gets a little quieter in the evenings.

Nicole changed her schedule for the summer to be only four days at Zoe-Gen, so that she could help with all the summer activities. She got a pool membership down at Fraser Pool so the kids could swim for free all summer. I refuse to take them, I’d rather stay back with Ainsley and Isla then deal with a dozen loud, splashing, running kids.

I get stressed just listening to the stories Nicole shares when she’s home in the evening. The boys have a huge target on their backs now that they are pre-teens, it seems that most of the parents of the young kids get really upset just having the boys in the pool. They get bent out of shape that Julius uses the slide, and even though he stands in line and waits his turn, they think he just shouldn’t use it at all.

The worst was when Elias jumped in the pool, and a little girl was near to his landing spot. Nicole said the little girl didn’t even bat an eye, but her mother sure did.

The Mom went ballistic, raising her voice that Nicole couldn’t raise children, and that the boys acted like barnyard animals. Lily saw the whole thing and started bawling.

Nicole hadn’t thought the boys were being out of control, but she reprimanded them anyway. I wouldn’t have given the other lady the satisfaction. I think some Moms just think too much of themselves and their kids. If they don’t want their kids to get a little water on their face, they should just buy their own pool then.

I don’t know why Nicole bothers going there, but she says that the drama barely happens and most of the time they have fun. Leah goes down and meets up with her now and then too.

She prefers when Leah’s oldest daughter stays home though, I guess she gets in some loud arguments right there in front of everyone. I can say that our daughters were rather polite in this regard, kept their screaming matches for when we were at home.

The bigger upset of the summer had been Abby drowning up in the Cascade Mountains. Our oldest son Oliver was on the trip with his girlfriend, Paloma. When he told us what happened, we were all traumatized, I can’t believe my boy had to witness something like that. It shook him up quite a bit, and he’s been avoiding Millwood since then. He ended up signing up for a few summer classes back at Eastborough and is back on campus now.

Nicole felt bad, about Abby dying, but also that we never really got to know any of them, and our kids have been friends since grade school. So she went over and offered to make Eva’s wedding dress for free, whenever Eva was ready to start planning the wedding.

I think it was a nice gesture, but probably more than was necessary. A gown takes a lot of work, and doing a custom one is more than Nicole had to give. I just hope that Eva appreciates the time and effort Nicole is going to put into this gown for her. Nicole and Paloma both assured me that Eva is very thankful for the offer.

Nicole’s been trying for years to get me and my Dad to get on better terms, and this summer she’s put all her effort into it. With me not working, I don’t really have an excuse to be out of the house all day long. She invited my parents over for a grill out, Elias volunteered to make the hot dogs so I couldn’t even distract myself with that.

Which I know was Nicole’s plan to get me to fish with my Dad in our little stocked pond. It was hot, and the fish weren’t barely biting, but it wasn’t too awful spending time with my old man.

The highlight of it all though was that Emma came by, she has never brought Chaz to our home, and there they were. I think my Mom had a hand in this one.

We’ve been trying to make amends with her over the years, and it wasn’t until my Mom’s marathon party that we really just talked with one another without shouting.

Emma updated everyone with Chaz, he’s just a month shy of two years old and she’s already working on potty training him. None of our boys, except Oliver would go before the age of three, but Emma’s had it with diapers she says.

All in all it was a nice get together, even if Nicole was trying to ambush me into making amends with my Dad. I’d say it went rather well, the boys had a good time with their friends over, and Emma with Chaz.

After the sun has set, Nicole always goes out to tend the garden. She’s not a natural or very good gardener even, but she’s made this a passion of hers, just for our family. I never thought of it that way before, but this little vegetable garden of hers has saved our family many times over.

And I’m trying to show her that I appreciate these little things about her more and more.

My favorite moment of the day is after she’s finished her gardening, and we head up to bed to watch a little late night television, and cuddle a little.

It’s the perfect way to finish a long, loud, drawn out day.


Notes Nicole has maxed out gardening, and she is a science sim. She has let go of her passion of science to tend the needs of her family, I think that’s a pretty motherly trait. Zoe-Gen is still doing great, rakes in 3,800-4,000 a day. They don’t really need Finn to be working, so he’s watching his granddaughters. Since he’s not really leaving the house much, he’s let himself grow out his facial hair, and he got a hair cut, cause he’s had the same hair since he was in college.

Emma was in everyone want panels, to be friends with her, and Emma even had a few wants for her estranged family too, so I thought she oughta begin fulfilling some. Finn and Nicole also had the crazy want for another kid, but we are just ignoring that little gem!

I’m tweaking some of my navigation and I’ll be updating a few things here and there, I’m hoping it will help everyone find things more easily.

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8 thoughts on “skipping rocks

  1. Finn looks good with facial hair! And did you just shoot around it, or did you fix the problem with Finn’s skintone that you were talking about on N99?

    Anyway, what a positive update for this family! I was so happy to see Finn spending a little time with George and that it actually went well. And I was incredibly surprised to see Emma turning up with Chaz. But that’s awesome too.

    Yay for Eva getting a free wedding dress! That’s really sweet of Nicole, even though it’s obviously not going to bring Abby back (still sad about that!).

    I don’t blame Finn for feeling a little jealous of Nicole being out at work while he’s stuck at home. Is he still looking for work, seeing they don’t need the money?

    1. Thanks Carla! Finn’s facial hair really took some getting used to for me, and I think of him as having curly/wavy hair, and it was hard finding an acceptable hair for him too! This has some wave so I’m sorta appeased. I did not fix the skintone, I gave him a tan, and it makes it less noticeable.

      I was happy that their update was so positive too. No kids in diapers (minus Grace’s) and I think that helps too. Finn has no wants for work, minus his science want in the beginning, but it’s rolled away, and I won’t let him fill it. They have so much coming in though that it’s not necessary, they got the 7k van, and were back up to 7-8k when I left.

    1. Thanks Starr, I was happy that Finn was rolling all the grandchildren wants, and spending so much time with all the kids. As for the wedding dress, that was about the only thing for Nicole to give, a discount would just be like a coupon, kind of obnoxious as a bereavement token.

  2. I agree, a free wedding dress is a big deal! I’m glad Finn has a way to still feel useful, I’m sure that helps soften the blow a bit. I laughed at all the drama about the boys swimming, some parents are just over the top for no reason!

    1. Thanks Jen! Boys = wild animals in lots of peoples books. They are pretty good boys though. I was happy to have Finn watch the girls and let him build that relationship up, and it lets me bump Grace’s hours at work a little bit too. It’s always a struggle for me with her work schedule, and Benjamins and then Emma, since Grace and Emma work the salon together.

  3. I like his more relaxed look since he’s at home. And how sweet is it with him babysitting his granddaughters. And what was up with the pool! Seriously, some parents need to chill out or get their kids a small pool for the backyard. I don’t see why parents are all up in arms over teen boys swimming. LOL

    1. Thanks Asha, I like Finn’s look now too, it took some getting used to, but it’s been that way in my game since 2009. But I like it now too! He can look sorta handsome, and I never thought he was anything but an average guy (has his dad’s awful nose.) Rebecca would definitely get a pool in her backyard to protect Scarlett if they weren’t saving for adoption and a new house, she only has the one kid and is constantly fretting, so I don’t see her being relaxed at a pool at all.

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