Grilled Grandma: Maryann

How many children do you have? I have two beautiful daughters.

How many grandchildren? Two loveable little grandchildren who I love to spoil!

What are their ages? My oldest grandson Zachary is 6 and my youngest grandson Carter is 3.

Any great grandchildren? Thank goodness NO at this point.

What do your grandchildren call you? My grandchildren call me NONA which is Italian for grandmother.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? Probably my first concern was that my daughter and her husband would be okay money wise with the baby. They were only married a short time before my daughter got pregnant.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? I am very blessed that my grandchildren live right here in the same state and only 90 minutes away. I try to see them at least once every two weeks if not every week. I would move in with them if I could! LOL!

What is the best thing about being a grandma?
The best thing about being a grandma is that I can spend as much time as I want with them and not have to worry about schedules or what I need to get done around the house. They have my undivided attention. I can be relaxed and enjoy the time we spend together. Plus, I can act like a kid with them.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Probably the most challenging part of being a grandma is that I want to be with them ALL the time but know that's not possible.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. My grandchildren are always saying or doing something that makes me laugh. Most recently, while in church for Easter, my 3-year-old grandson was listening to the pastor speak about Jesus (this surprised us that he WAS listening!). The Pastor mentioned that Jesus died for our sins. My youngest grandson turned to his mother and shouted, "Jesus DIED???!!! When did THAT happen??" Of course, we were all trying to stop from laughing out loud.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house?
Our favorite thing to do is walk on the beach and look at all the sea creatures, starfish, crabs and find pretty rocks and shells. We also like to play games, read, do crafts, make popcorn and watch movies, camp (in our bedroom) where the boys sleep in a tent we set up in our bedroom.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I usually bring something for us to do like kites to fly or a craft to do together. We'll play football, basketball, baseball, swing, go to the park. We also like to play TAG which is so much fun with them. The laughter is priceless.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? We talk on the phone and I'll send them little messages in the mail.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? Kindness for others, thoughtfulness for everyone and to be earth conscious, taking care of the wild life and nature. That we love them no matter what! Practice will help you learn something better and that they can be whatever they dream.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Love 

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? One thing I wish I learned earlier is probably how time flies when you're having fun. It's so difficult to think that my oldest grandson is almost 7 and my youngest is 3!

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
Enjoy and savor every single minute as much as you can because it will go by quickly. Also, enjoy being a kid again!

Maryann has a blog, Nona's Notes — For Your Health, and a website, Work At Home United. Do visit both!