Black Forest Cake Day, plus GRAND Social No. 249 link party for grandparents

Black Forest Cake Day!

Tuesday is, believe it or not, Black Forest Cake Day. Which makes me chuckle. Not because I find the chocolate-cherry-whipped cream confection funny but because of the place of honor said dessert has in the history of my family.

black forest cake

See, Black Forest cakes were the celebratory confection of choice when my daughters had their first periods. Yep, we threw period parties. Years before commercial kits for marking one's first menstruation appeared on the market.

I wrote an article on our period parties long, long ago. Like, way back in the '90s. But the site for which I wrote the piece (and many others) is long gone, as is — I learned while searching my computer and external drive for that particular piece — every single article I wrote for ULiveAndLearn.com in the early years of the web...

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Like mother, like daughter?

How are your kids like you?

My friend Lisa from Grown and Flown wrote an excellent piece on exactly that question this past week. Long after reading Lisa's thought-provoking post, I pondered again and again just how my daughters might be like me. I considered just how different they are from me, too.

Brianna, my eldest, is quite similar to me in many ways. From the time she was quite young, my younger daughters — and sometimes Jim, too — called Brianna "Mom 2" because she was a bossy little thing and always stepped in to control her sisters and unsavory situations if I didn't. Occasionally even when I did, to be honest. Brianna enjoys the same books and movies as I do. She has many other similar likes and dislikes, and many of my same mannerisms, too.

Megan, my middle daughter, is the least like me of all my girls. We're quite opposite in the most fundamental of likes and dislikes. She likes to shop; I don't. She likes to talk on the phone; I don't. She runs marathons, and I feel like I'm doing pretty well if I manage to walk the dogs around the neighborhood. The one area she is very much like me, though — which she may or may not willingly agree — is in our approach to motherhood and the parenting principles we hold dear. Since being a mom has been my most important role so far, I guess that in the end, Megan may be the daughter most like me after all.

Andrea, my youngest ... well, Andrea is a nut. The biggest nut of all my daughters. And the one that is probably most like me in many ways. Many ways that make us butt heads yet still consider the other among our most loved and loyal fans. We're both born under the astrological sign of Cancer, so perhaps that's part of it. Of my favorite resemblences: Andrea and I enjoy the same kind of music. The mix CDs she would send me from college are some of my most treasured possessions — and not just because I loved the music.

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our similarities and differences. I'm continually impressed by the ways my daughters are different from me, always pleased by the ways they mimic me — even when they balk at the thought they, heaven forbid, do and say things just like their mother at times.

In their words and their actions, it's fairly easy to see how my daughters take after me. Physically, though, is a different story. I'll leave it to you to decide which daughter looks most like her mother. If you ask me, there's not a bit of resemblance between any of us.

mother and daughter relationship

Like mother like daughter? From the top: Brianna, Megan, Andrea

Today's question:

In what ways do your kids resemble you, physically or otherwise?

Snickers, smiles, and laughing out loud

I'm not one to laugh out loud a whole heck of a lot. I'm a fairly happy person, I've got a pretty active funny bone, but I tend to snicker or chuckle or just plain smile at things that might make others literally LOL.

Except, of course, when it comes to my kids and grandkids.

My daughters make me laugh out loud. Often. Once, when Megan and Andrea (my youngest two) were away at college, they came home for the weekend. The Monday they left, I spent a good while trying to figure out why I had such pains in my ribs, as we'd definitely not done a whole lot of physical activity while they were home. We did, though, laugh and laugh and laugh, and I eventually realized my ribs hurt so much because I'd been laughing so hard all weekend long.

My grandsons make me laugh out loud, too. I think grandchildren make most grandparents laugh out loud on a fairly regular basis. Which is why I ask the Grilled Grandmas, "Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud." I love the stories the grandmas relate.

Because my grandsons live so far away and I only see them every couple months, my grandchild-induced LOLing happens only every couple months as well.

For the most part.

A few days ago, despite the 815 miles between us, my grandsons made me laugh. Out loud. By myself. And then again as I shared the story with Jim.

Megan texted me pictures of Baby Mac and Bubby on Monday, each preceded by her caption for the photo. The first two were certainly cute. It was the third, though, that elicited the elusive LOL from Gramma.

FIRST TIME IN A POOL

BRING YOUR SWIMSUIT!

THEIR REACTION TO ME IN MY SWIMSUIT

Baby Mac seems to have gotten quite a kick out of Mommy's poolside fashion. Such a silly, silly boy.

Turns out, though, it was Mommy who was silly. Megan admitted in a later phone call that her attire wasn't really the reason Baby Mac was laughing so hard; she just thought it would make a cute caption.

And it did.

And it made me laugh.

Out loud.

Like I said, my grandsons and my daughters are the ones most capable of making me laugh out loud.

Even if one particular daughter is a big ol' liar.

(Or maybe just a mom who would rather be considered a liar than a swimsuit-clad laughing stock to her sons.)

Today's question:

Who makes you laugh out loud the most often?