Grilled Grandma: Donne

How many children do you have? 1 daughter, 1 son

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? 2 granddaughters ages 7 and 3

Any great grandchildren? No, but my mom is a vibrant great-grandma who loves visiting her great granddaughters. One is named after her, Juliet, and the other is named after her mother, Amelia

What do your grandchildren call you? Baba – my older granddaughter named me when she was one.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Twice a month I drive 130 miles to their house and spend 2 nights with them. Sometimes they come and stay with us.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? Having an audience for all my silly antics and laughing more than I’ve ever laughed before. There’s nothing better than seeing them run down the driveway screaming with joy when I arrive at their house!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Remembering to keep my lips zipped when I’d really love to offer my advice, opinion or reaction. Having to say “no” to my granddaughters.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud.
They both are so entertaining that I laugh all the time. The 3-year old loves me to sing “The Little White Duck.” Recently, she did an imitation of me singing it and she was hilarious.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
We walk up and down our street and visit the neighbors, feed the koi fish in my pond, pick flowers and arrange them in vases and sing together.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
We play outside and discover things in nature, like seeing our reflection in a puddle or taking a walk and smelling the roses. We also love to hula hoop, jump rope and swing on their swings.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? My granddaughters call me and ask me to tell them stories. The older one started calling me when she was 3 ½. She’ll stay on the phone with me for an hour. We do creative projects together like designing their Halloween costumes. Last year they were both bunches of grapes.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? I want them to understand the importance of being a family and celebrating joyous events together.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Fun! We always have so much fun together. I want them to remember our annual Girls Getaways and the little rituals I’ve made up for them, like breakfast picnics with candles on the eggs.

Do you have a website or blog?  The GaGa Sisterhood is a social network where grandmas bond, brag, and benefit. I founded the GaGa Sisterhood in December 2003 after I witnessed the birth of my first granddaughter and went completely gaga!