Grilled Grandma: Patty

How many children do you have? I have 4 sons, they are spread across the country from Florida to Oregon.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? I have six grandchildren, three grandsons ages 11, 4, 2 and three granddaughters all age 9 (one set of twins).

Any great grandchildren?
Not yet... Honestly I can wait!

What do your grandchildren call you? They call me Nana and my hubby is Poppy.

Other than the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would be a grandmother? I was 36 when I became a grandmother. I worried I was too young, but the moment I held my granddaughter that worry melted away!

How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
I get to see 4 of the 6 daily. They live within a 2 miles of us. The other 2 live on the east coast and we don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? The hugs! Also my grandchildren seem to think I can do anything. It really does make you feel like a rock star!

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
I would say parenting my sons when they don’t need me to. I find on occasion when they are disciplining their children I have put my nose where I shouldn’t have. I work on biting my tongue more often now. They haven’t asked me to, but if someone did that to me I wouldn’t have appreciated it.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Just this morning I built a fire in the stove (I normally save this task for my hubby). Anthony announced “I knew you could do it Nana!” He thinks I can walk on water!

Every Sunday the family gets together for dinner, at the last Sunday dinner the youngest was getting his coat on to leave and went around telling everyone how much he was going to miss them. (He sees us almost every day!)

Another time I went to pick the kids up from play rehearsal and told Karmen (one of the twins) we were going to the movies. Emily (the other twin) was taking her time. When Karmen told her we were going to see Justin Bieber’s movie, Emily went threw the playhouse screaming for her brother to hurry up! It was like someone lit a fire under her. Was really hysterical.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? We often make crafts, cook snacks or play board/card games. Every once in a while we even have a dance party! They <were> in a play the first weekend of March, so we started planning a “Mocktail Party” for them after opening night!

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? We pretty much do the same things at their home, too. Board/card games and tickle fests!

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? I just try to be the safe place. I encourage them to talk to me about anything and everything. Since I see them often, it's not hard to keep that bond.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? Family Matters! Appreciate the generations.. That they know I love them more than anything!

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you?
Love - plain and simple I just love my family!

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I met my first grandchild when she was 9 months old. I wish I knew her from day one!

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
Enjoy the ride! As a parent we need to teach before friendship. As a grandparent we get to just be fun!

Patty says her blog, Nana Poppins, "is my personal blog about my experiences as a stay at home while trying to help my hubby make ends meet for us." She also writes for Squidoo.