Saturday, December 3, 2011

SPECIAL UPDATE! Sorting out the Ferguson Clan

Some of the families in Pleasantview that have been in the blog since the beginning are now so large that I feel a recap of the relationships would be helpful to the reader. As I do updates on the other families in the next couple months I will finish each family section with a refresher chapter on that particular family. This does not mean their story is done, just that the latest update section is closed.

Anyway, at this time I'll concentrate on the Shep Ferguson family. Eventually I will probably make a permanent "page" for each family.

I already covered the complicated relationships of Shep's brother Scott's family in Chapter 12 so I will focus on Shep's children and grandchildren in this post. I couldn't publish this at the start of the Ferguson Clan updates because it would have given away plots and info on the babies they all were expecting. :D
When Shep and Madeleine came to Pleasantview from San Francisco they had three children, all teenagers. Gillian was the oldest at 17, Margo was the middle child at 15 and Nicky was the baby of the family at that time, 14 years old. I'm using their adult photos for this and Shep and Madeleine's photos are of them from that time. Later I will show them as elders.

The twins, Harvey and Holly, were born in Pleasantview and Debbie was adopted when she was a little girl, she's just a few years younger than the twins. That made six children, all told.

Sheppard and Madeleine Ferguson when they first arrived in  Pleasantview:

Here's a profile shot of Madeleine as an adult with her hair pulled up to reveal her fairly normal ears (I'll refer to this later):

Gillian, Margo and Nicky as adults:

The twins, Harvey and Holly and youngest daughter Debbie

Shep and Madeleine the way they looked around the time the twins were teenagers and Debbie was a child.

Time marches on and as Shep and Madeleine became elders the grandchildren began arriving. Fifteen so far. Below, Shep and Madeleine as the grandparents and seniors they are now in the story:

By the way, compare the photo above to the one of Madeleine at the top of the page when she was an adult. You'll see the profound changes that happened when she became an elder. Weird. Especially her large pointed ears. See below for a comparison:

Eldest daughter, Gillian married Jeremy Blackford.

And proceeded to have four children, That's Robby on the left, Ryan on the right. And the twins, Stephen and Sabrina, toddlers.

Second daughter, Margo married Kevin Candeloro

They also have four children, two sets of twins:

James Sheppard, (Jamie) named after Kevin's father Jim and Margo's father, Shep, Madeleine Rose (Maddie) Rose is Kevin's mother's middle name. The younger twins are Mallen De Santis, named after Kevin's great grandmother, and Margaret Claire (or Marnie), named after Margo, on the far right.

                                           Jamie                                      Maddie                                                       

                                  Mallen                            Marnie

Nicky married Allyn Thompson:

They just had twins, boy and girl, named Connor and Lorna, but they, too, are still infants so there are no pictures at this time. (In Sims 2 all infants or "nooboos" look the same except for the color of their eyes and their eyebrows).

Holly married Andy Lomax right after college and they live in the big Lomax house. Updates on Holly and her family will appear with the Lomax chapters.

They have three children. Twins Arliss on the left, and Alexa in the center. Bradley is on the right.

Debbie is not married yet and has no children. The photo above is of her as a young adult at University.

Holly's twin, Harvey, married Lori Lassiter, his sweetheart in high school and college.

They have twins. Graylan Harvey on the left and Valrae Melora on the right.

I hope this helps to keep track of the family if you desire that. It has been added as a static page so people can refer to it whenever needed.  Just look for the tab at the top of the blog page that says "The Shep Ferguson Family" ~~Author

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 13 Graylan and Valrae

So much was changing so fast; Lori and Harvey had thought their life was full and happy before, but with the addition of Graylan and Valrae it was all they'd dreamed of years ago. Lori was amazed at how quickly Harvey adapted to fatherhood. Being woke up in the middle of the night, while it took a while to get used to, never seemed to bother him. Even when one of the twins spit up all over him when he was bare-chested it didn't dampen his spirits.

Harvey with Graylan:

Lori couldn't wait to start making clothes for her babies and they revamped her sewing room, moving out the exercise machines and cramming them into the art studio. Baking daily occupied much of her time, too; she still loved to be in the kitchen and Harvey still loved to eat.

Life with infant twins was surprisingly quiet the couple were surprised to discover. Mostly they ate and slept--and filled their britches. At least that's was how it seemed to Harvey and Lori. He remarked to her,

"I think we've got this parenting thing down!"

It seemed simple enough; cuddle, kiss and play with them--that was easy and fun; bathe them, teach them what they could learn and keep them fed, warm and dry. Gray and Valrae were not fussy babies at all; they seemed happy all the time. So, really, what were so many parents they knew crabbing about?

Lori with Graylan and Harvey with Valrae

Harvey bathing his son

"If it's this easy, we could have another child before too long and handle it easily," Lori agreed, "After all, your sister has three and seems to be doing fine."

"Holly and Andy have that huge house and a live-in nanny, honey. So we can't compare our situation to theirs."

"That's true."

"Still, I think you're right; we could definitely have a third child," he mused. A madonna-like smile came over her face to know that he was in agreement with her; they'd just give it a little while longer and then add to their family. Good.

Lori had still not mentioned anything to Harvey about the worries she had concerning her parents; that John had told Melora he was working out at Harvey's health club when, in fact, the gym was closed at the time. She'd shoved it to the back of her mind quite completely. Or so she thought. Meanwhile, Harvey had reopened his place and John actually had come there to work out and enjoy the spa. Of course, Harvey had issued free lifetime memberships to his parents and Lori's when he'd had the grand opening, but John's visit was after that and fairly recent.

From the beginning of their young lives Graylan and Valrae had many family visitors. Melora and John were so excited to be grandparents that they came over quite often which was fine with Lori and Harvey. Her father, who had always been such a tightly controlled man, was quickly charmed by the two little babies. Of course Melora, exuberantly emotional all her life; was crazy about them before they were even born.

Lori called her parents and invited them over for supper one Saturday afternoon.

She found herself running to hug her mother as they came up the street. She was becoming rather protective of her.

"Wasn't it too far to walk?" she questioned in a worried tone.

"Don't be silly, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and it's only a couple blocks. Your father has been health-walking now for a few weeks and I've been working out to the television. Maybe I'll finally take advantage of my membership at Harvey's place," Melora assured her.

"How decrepit do you think we are?" John complained.

"Okay," Lori laughed, "I apologize for short-changing you. You two can run circles around me and Harvey, I guess."

It was amusing to Lori how the twins eyes would fasten on John and follow him around when he was at the house. It was true that he'd always commanded any room he was in; certainly the adults around him, but evidently even babies could be fascinated.


Eventually Graylan and Valrae went down for their naps and Harvey and John started a video game while Lori and her mother worked in the kitchen. During dinner and the rest of the time they were there Lori was surreptitiously observing her parents together. Nothing seemed amiss at first; they joked and laughed with Harvey. Many times as a child she'd seen her parents give each other loving looks or little gestures of affection. Private smiles and whispered words that, back then, had made her a little jealous at times as they seemed to shut her and Trey out for the moment. She watched to see something like that now and did not discern anything of the kind. In fact, although the conversation flowed easily between all of of them, they barely seemed to look at each other. This was silly of her, Lori decided. After all, John and Melora were older now and had been married for over 35 years; they undoubtedly took one another for granted much of the time. Probably any couple married that long did the same. Again she resolved to speak to Harvey about it when her parents left. And, once again, she did not say a word to him at all; Harvey remained in the dark about Lori's worries, imagined or not.

As weeks and then months went by after the twins' births, Lori had been hoping somehow that she could lose a few pounds and it would help the breastworks problem. She stepped up her exercise routine and ate mostly salads, veggies and fruit and lean meats and fish. Not too much changed, however, except her waist grew smaller which made the situation even more obvious. She sighed; it looked like she was stuck with things as they were for now. She might as well get rid of her old clothes which, in fact, were not even old, but certainly did not fit any more.

One morning she was singing to Valrae as she bathed her. It was a lovely lullaby, "Baby Mine" from the movie "Dumbo", but then she segued into a ditty that told the baby her Auntie Grace was coming over later to see her and her brother and wouldn't that be nice? As they grew the children would become accustomed to their mother sing-songing information to them, often using well known songs to which she changed the words in an impromptu manner. It was just her way and always delighted them. Meanwhile, Graylan was already bathed and changed and back in his crib awaiting his guests.

Grace and her husband Devon showed up and played with the babies for a while before the adults all had a late lunch. Grace couldn't help thinking that maybe she'd made a mistake when she had decided long ago not to have children. After all, she'd once come to the conclusion--when she became Co-Chief of Staff at the hospital--that she would probably forgo marriage. Then she'd reconnected with Devon after all those years and she'd been very happy since their wedding; they both had. The babies were adorable and she could see many of the family features in their faces, hands and feet.

"She has Grandma Elaine's long toes, just like Mom," she laughed softly. The tender feelings that welled up in her when she held Valrae surprised her. And when Devon cuddled little Gray his eyes went to hers. He was thinking the same thing...


Afterwards at dinner Harvey and Lori told amusing anecdotes (or frightening, depending on your point of view) of their life with the twins. How they survived sleepless nights and interrupted schedules and plans. One evening when they'd planned dinner out at a nice restaurant, just the two of them, a crying baby at a nearby table started a sudden flood of mother's milk from Lori. They'd had to duck out because her blouse was soaked, leaving their delicious New York strip steaks behind. They picked up Double-Snappyburgers from Sam's on the way home instead. Or the time when Graylan had a slight case of diarrhea one afternoon while Lori was off at her mother's. Harvey, of course, had changed the twins often, almost as much as Lori, but this time the event had been nothing short of spectacular.

"How did it go?" Devon laughed and wrinkled his nose.

Harvey shook his head with a rueful grin,

"Worse than you can possibly imagine."

It was time for the twins' birthday and Lori called both sets of grandparents to come over for cake and ice cream and to watch the twins open their gifts. John and Melora and Shep and Madeleine were old friends as well as related by marriage now. Lori greeted them at the front gate, she was very excited about the celebration; as were all four grandparents.

So there was butter cake with buttercream frosting, praline pecan ice cream, and lots of presents for the twins. They were now toddlers.

Gray had his grandmother Melora's coppery red hair and his father's big blue eyes. Valrae had ash brown hair like Harvey and his dad, but green eyes like both of her grandmothers.

Two year old children get into everything because all day long is one adventure after another in learning about life. They'll play in the toilet, apply crayons to your freshly painted wall, leave sticky fingerprints everywhere, find any little bit of lint on the floor or carpet and pop it in their mouth, ask a million questions and when they're tired they whine or have a tantrum. If you let them have some of your iced tea--which they always want to do--they will leave little things floating in it. Fortunately for two year olds they endear themselves to you by looking precious, making you laugh in spite of everything and melting your heart every day with what they say. This is on purpose; heaven makes them that way so they will live to be three year olds. Lori and Harvey were about to get an introduction to real parenting; the kind where the kids, unlike infants, rarely stay where you put them and definitely have minds of their own. It would be a whole new ballgame...

A "Who's Who" handy compendium of the Shep Ferguson family HERE