Grilled Grandma: Laurie

How many children do you have? I have two wonderful boys and the greatest daughters-in-law...Adam, 38 (wife, Jenny), and Jeffrey, 35 (wife, Janet)!

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? 4 grandchildren: Owen, 5; Audrey, 3; Celia, 3; and Dylan, 19 mos.

Any great grandchildren? No...not yet! It is way too soon for that! : )

What do your grandchildren call you? "Grammie"

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? Not really a concern, but a yearning to be in my grandchildren's lives....even though they all lived quite far away!

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Not often enough (!!!!)...but, I manage to visit them and they all come to me several times during the year. We take turns sharing the holidays with the other grandparents.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? EVERYTHING!

Sharing their innocence, feeling their joy, becoming a child again through their eyes, finding that playful spirit within me, and hugs, hugs, hugs, hugs. Did I mention "hugs"?!

I also find that having the privilege of watching my two sons as fathers has been unbelievably heartwarming. I am so proud of them as sons, brothers, fathers, and the men that they have grown to be.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Realizing that I am not as young as I used to be...especially when I get down on the floor to play with them...and, it takes me quite a long time to get back well as lots of moans and groans! : )

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Truth be told, they all keep me in a constant state of laughter with their joyful silliness and youthful innocence. A lot of giggles seem to occur around food...such as birthday cake frosting that ends up to be more on their faces than their stomachs!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? I love having everyone up on my big bed. Since the rules are a little different at Grammie's house, they can even jump on it as much as they would like to! (Don't tell their parents!)

Because I am an artist, I especially love doing art projects with the grandkids. I have their precious "work" all over the walls in my studio! It makes me smile to be surrounded by their artistic expressions.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? Awaiting their "wake-up calls" in the morning when they sneak down to Grammie's room! I also love when their parent's "loan" them to me for a whole day to do whatever we would like! Oh, and I adore watching them pursue their interests such as dance classes, gymnastics, and tennis lessons...

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? This is the tough part when so many miles separate us...but, thankfully, with modern technology, we are able to share moments together through the computer with Skype and Facetime. As they get older, I am hopeful that this ritual can become a longer conversation with each grandchild.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? Kindness, loving, happiness, compassion, patience, independence, tolerance, good health...and to always follow their hearts when pursuing their dreams.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? FUN! (and the second one would be "huggable"!!)

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I honestly don't have an answer for that is all such a wonderful journey and the learning process is part of the joy.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? Enjoy every moment...because at a blink of an eye....they grow up so quickly.

Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? Yes, it is called, "Awaiting Buddha". The explanation of this title is found on my blog page. The blog was created when my first grandchild was about to be born. I felt the need to share my feelings about this experience of becoming a first time grandma....and, six years and four grandchildren later, I am still at it. I don't write quite as often as I used to, but still try to post when I can. I am hopeful that it will serve as a diary of sorts for my children and grandchildren in the future and give them some insight as to what their "Grammie" was all about!