narrated by: Hazel
My sister, Vi has been staying with us while she worked on this building project for the North side of Lincoln Park. They tore down dilapidated buildings and hired her to give it a fresh new look. She was offered a full time position by Mayor Cole to work for the city’s architect team, in rebuilding parts of South Port. She didn’t accept immediately, but this past spring did make it official. She is now Architectural Partner to Boone County, and happened to purchase one of the homes she built.
As it happens, we also bought a house at Lincoln Park, but one of the older brownstones, it’s three stories, and has four bedrooms, which is perfect for our family size.
So now, we live right by my sister, after spending years with her across the world. It’s been great having her close, but not exactly living in my house.
She offered to watch the kids for me while me and Jude went out with one of his old buddies to the Lighthouse later in the evening. It turned out that when she accepted the full-time position, that her partner from Paris, also accepted a Partnership role. I’ve been telling her that means he still likes her, if he was willing to leave his home country, break up his engagement, and move here, that definitely meant she hadn’t lost her shot with him.
Apparently, she already figured that much out on her own. She isn’t one that really shares what’s going on in her life, or in her mind, and sometimes I feel put out that she didn’t confide in me. She went on a date with Etienne to a local place, and apparently they had a great time, were out until the sun came back up.
Of course, it couldn’t just be that easy. Reed, for whatever reason happened to be in the area as they were leaving the club, and saw her. Instead of acting like the married man he should, he acted defensive and rude to them both.
She told me that she said she didn’t understand the big deal, and that he should go home to his wife. All things I was proud to hear her say, he really should be home with her and his kids. Part of me wants to go bust his charade.
As great as that all sounded though, as I was saying good-bye to the kids to head out, she got a phone call on her cell and acted secretive over it. I joke with Jude, that I just wish Etienne would knock her up already so they could just be together. It worked for us, with Bea, and I couldn’t imagine my life any different. But we both know that Vi is not in a place to do that, especially since I think she’s taking Reed’s phone calls still.
The kids seemed fine when I left, I’m sure Vi will have a headache by the time I go. I urged Bea to keep an eye on Roman for me, because Aunt Vi isn’t used to two year olds that get into everything.
And everything, is what he gets into!
Jude has two buddies from before we were together, Dave who was his best man, and dated Vi for a little bit, and Gideon, who we don’t see much of. Jude happened to find out that he was engaged to Eva some older widow from Millwood, and decided we could now be couple friends. I was hesitant on the entire idea, I have enough friends, and obligations already in life, without adding more to the mix, but it meant a lot to Jude.
I consider myself to be good at speaking with people, I run a diner for pity sake. But Eva was not someone that I could get a real conversation out of, when I told her about an incident at the diner, she practically fell on the floor laughing over it.
And I get that Gideon is in love with her, but there wasn’t dancing on the deck, and he came swooping up to dance while we waited for a table.
Gideon was perfectly fine, it really was just her that rubbed me the wrong way. It’s almost like she doesn’t know how to socialize properly. She questioned how I could handle three kids, like I was out of my mind to procreate, when she herself had two. I thought she was a little off her rocker for marrying a man that was obviously so much younger than herself.
Gideon was nervous, but Eva urged him along, and so he asked Jude to be his best man in their wedding. I was relieved that she didn’t ask me to be in her wedding, not sure she has any friends, but it turns out her adult daughter Paloma is going to be her maid of honor.
By the end of the night, we got to know Eva better, and I started to regret some of my more nasty thoughts toward her. When I found out she was widowed on her wedding night, and that her Mom just passed away last summer, I felt sort of awful. Obviously she doesn’t have a lot of friends, or know how to behave with other people, she’s been raising daughters, and trying to make ends meet for two decades.
I can’t promise we’ll become best friends, but I told her I’d help her with her wedding if she needs a hand. I have connections to most of the businesses downtown, and might be able to hook her up.
When I went to pick up the kids afterward, I found the older two cuddled up on the sofa watching a movie. Bea and Monroe declared that Aunt Vi is the best aunt ever, which I could tell made her pleased.
The kids are all getting so big, Monroe thinks that he’s now the man of the house, but the only ones he can really boss around are the dogs. Juno isn’t as interested or eager to please as Jedi, probably because she’s getting older these days. At bedtime, we can hear him telling Jedi to sit, and roll over, and every time he obeys, Monroe’s head fills all the more.
Jude has been giving him keyboarding lessons, says it’s the best way to learn how to read sheet music. Right now, Monroe insists that he wants to be a rock star like Daddy when he grows up, and Jude says that even if he wasn’t his Dad, he’d say he has raw talent.
He’s starting preschool this year, and very anxious over it. Just a few more weeks left until school starts back up, and every night at dinner he has more school-related questions. His big concern now is the lunch menu, and if they really do put witch fingers in the goulash.
Of course, Bea, the playful kidder, is the one that is filling his mind with all these silly concerns. As often as we tell them that it’s not true, she’s whispering right back to him another made up story.
I thought I enjoyed the toddler years, but family dinner has gotten much more interesting now that Bea and Monroe contribute to the conversation.
Once Jude decided to pursue music seriously, it’s been nothing but great news, and record sales, and promotional options. He’s been working on his third album, wanting to go back to more prose with the lyrics like his original songs.
He set up the spare fourth bedroom to be his music room, and we spend the evening in here with me reading or listening to him if he has something to share. I think it sounds great, reminds me of when I first met him and found out shortly afterward that we were expecting Bea.
He was asked to perform at a benefit concert where the cost of tickets was being donated to the pediatric unit at the state capital. It was televised, and a huge opportunity to really get his music out there. The only catch was that he had to perform a duet with another singer, she hit on him back when he was just an opening act, and he rejected her advances. Her wounded pride has caused this friction in the rock crowd, and Jude almost declined the invitation to avoid her.
In the end he decided to let bygones be bygones, and go to the concert with a professional frame of mine. Unfortunately she didn’t. She sabotaged the event, and made Jude look like a rocker who didn’t care about the children. It went over badly, he made the papers over it.
His record company decided that this wasn’t the time to work on a third album, and decided to drop him. There’s no talk that they will pick him back up, so it’s ether start over with a new record company, or find a new dream.
I’m devastated for him, he doesn’t have anything else that he wants to do or be, it’s always been this. He can’t even get Janelle to let him play at Planet Java, and that’s where he got his start. His friend Dave suggests that Jude find something else for a bit, and then try again after sometime has passed.
He’s stressing out about being able to provide for us, I keep telling him that we are fine, but the new mortgage is weighing him down. He keeps forgetting that I own my diner, that it’s good business.
When I remind him of my diner, he instantly perks up. I tell him that I have $20,000 available if I refinance the diner, and that would be more than enough money to cover bills for a year if we budget well, plenty of time for him to work on his album and try for his dream.
I thought I’d really made him feel better until I realized he was planning to come work with me, really make the business boom in ways that I hadn’t done yet. My diner does great business, there really isn’t a way to make it any better, that is if I don’t want to turn patrons away.
He was excited, and super amorous afterwards though that I couldn’t break his heart and tell him that he couldn’t work with me at the diner. He thinks we’ll be this great couple diner now, and all I can think is that Jude doesn’t know how to work a diner to save his life. It’s always been mine, that I decorated, designed, and made the menu and hired for, all on my own, I don’t want to share that position now, but he’s so darn happy, that I just go with it.
Hoping maybe that he’d wake up and be over the idea, but he wasn’t. It was a disaster, in more ways than I had planned for. He didn’t know the menu, nor did he really know how to talk to the customers. He kept having to shout what the special was, or how he should write double cheeseburger in short hand, and what did it mean if they wanted everything on their burger.
Shae, my chef has been with me since the beginning, and he’s annoyed. He doesn’t like when we are training a new waitress, but it being my husband, seems to make him in an even fouler mood.
I had to lay-off my newest hire, because I can’t afford to have three for my waitstaff, just no reason for that. And now Jude’s unemployment is affecting other people’s lives, and when Jude finally snaps out of this funk, there’s a good chance that this young kid will have found a new job by then.
But he’s so darn proud of himself, and my family have been supportive by coming down and ordering, and not complaining when he screws up, or drops their meal on their head. If only all customers could be family.
My Mom was too kind, and gave him an extra large tip, he seems oblivious that it was a pity tip. No one ever pays $50 for a diner meal tip, even if you are that good. But now, Jude thinks that you could really make a living being a waiter.
After a week, I had to sit him down, and urge him to look in the papers again. If he refuses to lounge around for a year, rebuilding his reputation, and working on new music, than he’s going to have to find a new job. He seemed kind of wounded at first, but when I told him of laying off someone, he seemed to get that it wasn’t fair for him to just usurp a new position for himself.
Problem is that it’s summertime, and it seems no one is really in the market for a rocker-has-been. There are a lot of children parties though, and Jude decided to apply for such a position.
I have more pride than my husband it seems, in this regard. I’m embarrassed for him when he calls to apply for the job, knowing he’s much better than this. Part of me wonders if he’s doing it just so I’d step in and stop in, and let him come back to my diner.
I don’t though, I really just hope that a crummy job, will make him come back to his writing. He, of course, gets the position. He’s a children’s party entertainer. He’s hopeful that he can sing a little, maybe bring some rock to the kiddie parties. But his first party has him as a clown, and I’m not sure they’ll be interested in his music abilities.
He’s such a good guy though, and I know he can rock it as a party entertainer, he’s great with our kids.
The nice part of such a crummy job, is that he’s not traveling or out of town. So when Bea has Scarlett spend the night, it’s not just me alone with four kids. He can wrangle the boys, while I get the girls their treats and he can set up the tent for their outdoor adventures.
Scarlett has been talking about maybe getting a little baby brother or sister for a long time, but the possible adoption of the Millett baby fell through. I didn’t know if Rebecca would still want to adopt, but according to Scarlett, there’s a toddler out there that needs a home. She’s not local to us, and Scarlett didn’t have all the information, just said that it will probably happen.
The girls are gems when they hang out together, some of Bea’s friends really feed into her wild, playful side, but Scarlett is a more calm girl. They catch fireflies, and look at the stars, or mostly airplanes, it’s hard to see the stars in the city.
They even sleep in the tent without coming in crying about monsters, which is what I thought was going to happen. Jude thought for sure the girls would be fine, and they were.
All too soon, Roman will be joining the ranks of the big kids, I’m sure he’ll be nothing but a handful then too. It’s rare I can get him to sit still and just play with a toy.
And Bea and Monroe spend most of their time, joking around with each other, and pranking the other one. It usually goes over just fine, and they laugh like giggling hyenas over it all. But when it’s night time, it always seems to escalate into crying and fighting.
And these are the days that I dread adding Roman to the mix, at least now he takes naps. Half the time, during this summer break, I think my big kids need naps too, or at least an earlier bedtime.
Notes: So Jude got fired, I knew he’d be professional for a concert, and was hoping that was the correct response, but it wasn’t. He spent some time at the diner, but was not a good waiter. Hazel likes her own accomplishments, and time, and her diner is just that for her, so she didn’t really like him poking around there ether. The only job he could qualify for was entertainer for children’s party, it’s level 2. And apparently the job comes with a clown costume, which I love. He is not staying in this career, just not sure what he’ll do next. If music comes back in the paper, he will take that job and start over though.
Hazel got rank 9 for the diner, and she used that to get $21,000 cash, I’m counting it as refinancing, because the money doesn’t make sense to me in the game. So they are financially fine for a while with that.
Violet-Adele is back in South Port, and even though Reed called it off with her (rejecting her suddenly) he kept calling her! He called her twice while Hazel was there. She went on a date with Etienne (that went really well) and as they were saying bye, Reed is there, and now he’s livid with her. Because he’s married with two kids, but like heck if Vi should find someone. And Etienne is staying in South Port for now, his want panels filled entirely with Vi again, marriage, engagement (for Vi), and a baby… I can’t see someone with those wants, moving back to Paris, not yet. No surprise that Vi’s are for Reeds. Ugh!
Rebecca will be adopting, it just won’t be a sim from my game, they’ll just call and have one arrive. It will happen in the next round. Eva’s wedding is coming up, working on round 7 schedule now, and it will be within the first two seasons of the new round.
Thanks for reading!