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From dead squirrels to baby overalls: 7 families who made us laugh in 2016

The family that laughs together stays together. And, the family that lets the world laugh along with them — those are our kind of people.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

The family that laughs together stays together. And, the family that lets the world laugh along with them — those are our kind of people.

In a year where there often was a shortage of things to smile about, these 7 families' stories cracked us up, something we're grateful for.

1.The "closed until Thanksgiving" sign

Well before Thanksgiving, mom-of-four Michele Keylor did some "serious cleaning" on her living room — deep cleaning carpets, removing stains from furniture, and getting the space in perfect condition for her holiday entertaining. Keylor then taped the room off, hanging a sign for her children to read, declaring that the space was closed.

Mom Closes Living Room Until Thanksgiving
Michele Keylor cleaned her living room in preparation for Thanksgiving on November 5, then hung this sign closing the area off to her four kids until the holiday.Nick Denbow

Keylor's son, Nick Denbow, tweeted a photo of the hilarious sign, which later went viral.

Keylor says she was happy to give her fellow parents a laugh during a season that can be a bit stressful.

"Most parents can relate because taking care of children and cleaning is an eternal, vicious cycle," said Keylor. "It never ends and it's a constant battle to get caught up only to blink and have to do it all over again."

Read this family's story here.

2. The "blame "teenage-ism" note

When Nicole Poppic's 14-year-old daughter, Cara, overslept and caused her family's morning routine to go haywire, the mom-of-three says she did the "mom thing," lecturing her teen about how her actions and attitude affect everyone around her.

Mid-lecture, however, she noticed Cara was listening to music with her headphones.

"I reached over and took her phone off her lap, unplugged her headphones, and threw her phone out the car window," Poppic told TODAY Parents.

Mom writes note for daughter running late to school blames "teenage-ism"
"Cara is tardy this morning as a result of a condition known as 'teenage-ism,'" Poppic wrote. "Adolescents across our great nation are afflicted, and there is no known cure."Courtesy of Nicole Poppic

Poppic then penned a hilarious late note, blaming her daughter's tardiness on "teenage-ism."

"Cara is tardy this morning as a result of a condition known as 'teenage-ism,'" Poppic wrote. "Adolescents across our great nation are afflicted, and there is no known cure." Poppic also listed symptoms such as "an inability to remove herself from her bed" and "talking back to her birth-giver."

She walked the note into the attendance office with Cara and handed it to the clerk herself. "The attendance clerk cracked a smile," Poppic said.

Read this family's story here.

3. The "cow having a calf" cake

For his fourth birthday, Benz Packard had a strange request — a "cow having a calf" cake.

Benz's mother, Jamie Packard, says her son loves spending time on his aunt and uncle's farm, and watches "The Incredible Dr. Pol," a National Geographic show that follows the adventures of a Dutch veterinarian who specializes in large farm animals. Because of her son's interest in bovine culture, she got creative and honored his request.

Jamie Packard made a cow giving birth to a calf birthday cake for her son Benz???s fourth birthday.
Benz with his "cow having a calf cake."Courtesy of Jamie Packard

"We tried," Packard wrote in a Facebook post about the cake. "So there I sat, Google imaging 'cow having a calf cake' and guess what, there were zero results, surprise, surprise!"

RELATED: Mom creates epic birthday cake for farm-loving son: A cow giving birth to a calf

"So as I'm moulding rice crispy squares into little hooves I'm thinking to myself, no mother is ever really prepared for this kind of stuff. And as I'm applying cherry pie filling as afterbirth, I found myself thinking...Thank goodness it's only family coming to this party!"

Read this family's story here.

4. The dead squirrel in the backpack

Mom Ladye Hobson got the surprise of her life this year when she received a unique call from the principal of her son, Brylan's school.

"The principal called to tell me he was toting a dead squirrel around in his backpack," Hobson told TODAY Parents. "It just totally topped everything he's done in the past. Then, the principal told me he had kept the squirrel because he wanted to eat it for dinner. I was floored — maybe more like mortified."

A little boy took a dead squirrel to school in his backpack.
Ladye Hobson was shocked to receive a call from her son, Brylan's, principal saying he had been caught with a dead squirrel in his backpack.Ladye Hobson

Hobson says she and her husband, Denarius Darby, were not angry with Brylan, adding that she wrote about the incident because she felt people could use a laugh in the midst of all of the unfortunate events happening in the world.

Read this family's story here.

5. The daycare wardrobe fail

For Jeremy Basso, his failed attempt at dressing his infant daughter, Olivia, became a viral sensation this year, making moms everywhere laugh at his wardrobe malfunction.

My darling husband Jeremy got the baby dressed and took her to daycare this morning. This is how things went down when I picked her up! #daddyfail
When Brooke Basso's husband, Jeremy, sent their daughter to daycare without a shirt on, hilarity ensued. Brooke Hawley-Basso / Facebook/Brooke Basso

Jeremy's wife, Brooke, says she initially took the now viral photo of Olivia — which shows the infant in overalls without a shirt underneath — to send to friends and family for a laugh. But, when Jeremy jokingly posted the image to his own Facebook page, Brooke decided to post the image, alongside a hilarious text conversation with her husband about the outfit, to the Ellen DeGeneres Facebook page.

RELATED: Can you say 'wardrobe malfunction'? Dad's funny outfit for baby goes viral

"I had no idea she was dressed like that until I picked her up," Brooke told TODAY Parents. "When I picked her up from daycare, I thought perhaps she spilled out of her diaper and maybe they removed the shirt that I assumed she was brought in."

"Our provider just laughed and said, 'No, Jeremy brought her in like that, and we just thought OK,'" Brooke continued. "We all just laughed about it."

Read this family's story here.

6. The tweeted home birth

Birth stories can often be long tales to tell, but one couple made hilarious Internet fodder this year by condensing theirs to a series of 140-character tweets.

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Marco Rogers and Aniyia Williams welcomed their daughter, Noemi Rose, into the world on January 2. Five days later, Rogers took to his Twitter account with the harrowing tale of how he helped his wife labor at home and eventually delivered his daughter in their bed.

5 days after their daughter was born, Marco Rogers took to Twitter to tell the hilarious story of her birth.
5 days after their daughter was born, Marco Rogers took to Twitter to tell the hilarious story of her birth.@polotek/Twitter, Aniyia Williams

Williams says she and Rogers thought telling their birth story via Twitter would be a funny way to give friends and family the details on Noemi's birth, since they kept the specifics quiet for a few days until they had time to rest.

The story went viral, proving that not only family and friends were amused by the tale — parents across the world were, too.

Read this family's story here.

7. The epic back to school photo

When Keshia Gardner's kids went back to school this year, the mom-of-five shared funny photos of her leaping and celebrating as her kids lined up for school, looking sad.

Mom Keshia Gardner's Epic Back-to-School Photo
"We stay very busy," said Gardner. "So we try to find the humor in life because life is too short not to smile."Courtesy of Keshia Gardner

"I think most moms feel the same way as I do about this time of year, and I really tried to capture the essence of all moms and their feelings when the children go back to school," Gardner told TODAY Parents. "I love my kids, and the photo was just taken in humor, but I am thankful that we are back in a routine."

Read this family's story here.