The girls can talk, and they can use the potty by themselves, which just leaves walking as their last major physical skill. Tulip watches on with interest as her older sister stumbles her way through her first steps. She wants to try!
"You'll get your turn," Persis promises her, tickling her as she does so. Tulip shrieks with laughter, and tries to bat her mother's hands away. Marko joins in, leaving Tulip completely surrounded by the "tickle monster".
Tulip's turn ultimately has to wait; she's tired and her siblings have skills to learn, too. While she sleeps Paolo learns how to use the potty and Xara learns where her centre of gravity is.
The warm weather unfortunately could not last forever, leaving Persis with just one plant to take care of. Her spotlight mushrooms are just a clump of dirt right now, having been harvested just last chapter, which doesn't give her much to do. Water, weed, and fertilize has become Persis' internal mantra.
And it looks like the cold is here to stay. Heavy snow marks the first official night of winter in Appaloosa Plains. This does not in any way deter Marko from marring his own walls with murals, it just means he has to bundle up before he can do so.
Tulip finally gets her turn to walk! She quickly finds that it's a lot harder than it looks, but she's going to master this walking thing, you'll see!
It turns out the twins' leftover toddler birthday cake will be feeding this family for many seasons to come.
Persis and Marko have a debate about a book. While Persis doesn't read often, she really sticks by the few novels she likes, and feels almost personally attacked when Marko critisizes one of her favorite books.
"I'm just saying, Persis, the whole plot is contrived! Out of all the people the villain could have killed, he kills the parents of the one person on the planet who has the powers to stop him, who would then hunt him down to seek revenge? Seriously?"
"I think you're missing the point- he kills them because their kid has powers!"
"Then why not just kill the kid? It's not like it would've been hard for an amoral villain."
Persis thinks for several moments. Marko has a point. "Ok, fine, the plot is contrived, but you have to admit it's a pretty good story."
"Well, there are other plot holes..."
Their debate ends with little bloodshed several minutes later. All the kids are asleep, leaving the house almost eerily quiet with no one talking.
"How long has it been since we've been on a date?" Persis suddenly asks. She finds she can't remember.
Marko pauses, his forkful of cake suspended in mid-air. "Too long," he sighs. "When we have the time, I swear we'll go out somewhere, or just spend a quiet evening at home together."
Marko smiles. "Promise."
For now, though, Marko is pretty busy. He has more assigned reading from work, which he needs to complete as soon as possible before his promotion to a permanent teacher can come through. He's a fast reader, but with a book as boring as this one, it takes him a long time to slog through the entire thing.
Persis has too much free time. All the lakes are frozen over, depriving her of fishing, so she goes straight to her easel on most days. Her paintings are gradually getting better and the sense of progress gives her something to look forward to after a long day of taking care of her kids.
Marko makes sure to include time for his children in his work-dominated schedule.
But it's never long before he dashes off to the office. Today's his first day as an official teacher. For the time being he's teaching in elementary school, but he's hoping to move into administration ASAP.
Since snowflake day is around the corner, the school arranges a "secret santa" event. Teachers aren't meant to be included in this event at the student level, but Marko's new class buys him this yeti toy anyways. He proudly displays it on top of his dryer as a sign of his career success and his growing rapport with his students.
Pictured here: A typical morning in the Winterly household.
After dealing with that chaotic mess, Persis joins her husband for a late lunch once he gets home from work.
"I wish we had a dishwasher. Washing these all by hand in the bathroom just isn't practical."
Ok, ok, I can take a hint. Happy now?
Persis is not happy, but only because this themed sweater is itchy. With the plummeting temperature outside, she's been forced to change her wardrobe once again.
Tulip, who can now walk on her own two legs, thinks the snow is wonderful and right after aging up, goes outside to play in the snow with her sister.
"I dare you to throw a snowball at mom," Tulip challenges her sister.
No way! Xara would like to stay alive, thank you very much.
The penance for refusing a dare is to...play a game of tag. This doesn't seem so bad until you remember that Tulip, even without the vampire powers she'll get as an adult, is much faster and has far better stamina than her twin. "Tag" is closer to a never ending marathon for Xara, but thankfully after a few rounds her sister relents. Not out of pity, but because they're both exhausted.
For the time being, the twins have to share their bedroom with their little brother. Once he's old enough to go to school, the Winterlys should have enough money to give him his own room.
Persis can only pray that this is soon. Not only is she greeted with her crying son every morning, but also by a chorus of complaints from her daughters who are periodically woken up by his crying.
At least she doesn't have to worry about her daughters fighting. The twins quickly become best friends.
Although they do have their differences.
"It's going to be a full moon tonight. We should go to the graveyard! There might be ghosts!"
Xara is more reluctant, but does not want to displease her sister. "But what if there aren't any?"
Tulip shrugs. "It would still be cool. Maybe there'll be zombies instead!"
Noticing her sister's hesitance, Tulip can tell Xara's scared by the idea. "Don't worry, I'll be strong enough to take 'em down. I'm a vampire, after all."
Xara rolls her eyes. "You don't get powers until you're an adult."
"But the zombies don't know that!"
"Hey mom," Tulip calls out as she starts clearing the dishes, "Can me and Xara go to the graveyard tonight?"
Xara is secretly hoping the answer will be a no, but to her surprise and horror, their mom just shrugs. "If your father will take you, I don't see why not."
Finding himself completely helpless against his daughter's pleading, Marko is easily convinced to take the twins to the cemetery. Tulip runs alongside Marko while Xara trails behind hesitantly at the back.
"Is everything ok?" Marko calls out over his shoulder.
Xara glances at the zombie that has just spawned on their front yard.
"Yeah! Wait up!"
Once they actually get to the graveyard, it's Xara who sticks by her dad's side and Tulip who goes running off.
Ok, I won't lie, this photo is kind of creepy. What is she waiting for?
Disappointed at the lack of zombies or ghosts, Tulip decides to ice-skate instead. Her ice-skates refused to load, so it looks like she's just jogging on the lake's surface.
Marko, being the most attentive father ever, sits on a bench facing away from his daughters, and pulls out a book.
Xara actually wanted to join in, but according to the game the lake is too small to fit 2 sims, so she just watches Tulip zip around for a little bit.
Both sisters agree that the graveyard turned out to be totally boring and drag their father to the beach instead. Marko is quite tired, but his need for sleep is outweighed by the intensity of his daughters' wishes.
More specifically, Xara rolled a wish to learn fishing. She doesn't have the loves the outdoors or angler traits, so I'm not really sure why she wants to do this, but I'm not going to impede her fun.
Tulip finds the beach almost as boring as the graveyard, but the space to make a few snow-angles more than makes up for it.
Wait, Marko, where are you going???
Your daughters are still at the beach!!!
I didn't know sims could just abandon their children after curfew without the kids either automatically following them or the "go home" action being cancelled. Tulip does not yet realize their father has left them behind and happily makes frozen sandcastles. Xara is completely focused on fishing and also doesn't notice their father's absence. If they did, they might be considerably more scared...
As soon as Marko gets home, this happens.
I can't say I feel too bad for him.
Maybe next time you won't abandon your children in the middle of the night!?
Meanwhile, Tulip's wishes to see a zombie are suddenly granted.
"Uhh Xara, I think we should go!" Zombies are decidedly less awesome in real-life.
Xara is more than happy to get the heck out of there!
Tulip, too! She hopes she doesn't see another zombie for a very, very long time!
They get home safe but exhausted. They were out for so long that it's almost time for breakfast!
Their hunger wins out over their fatigue.
"Ew, are you drinking blood?" Xara's face twists in disgust. The tangy, metallic smell is rather repulsive.
"It's plasma, you ding-dong."
"I'm not a ding-dong!"
Xara sticks her tongue out at Tulip, who takes a long, loud slurp of plasma juice in response. Xara makes a face and turns back to her autumn salad.
Tulip checks the time on her watch and nearly spits out her plasma. "It's so late, it's early!"
Xara looks over and does a double take. "Oh plumbob."
"Didn't dad say that's a no-no word?" Tulip says mockingly.
"Is dad here right now?"
They both giggle mischievously.