Grilled Grandma: Grandma Teresa

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How many children do you have? 
I have one beautiful daughter and two handsome sons. 

How many grandchildren? What are their ages?
I have six grandchildren and a seventh on the way! My oldest two live in California - my grandson is 14 and my granddaughter is 12. The other four live 20 minutes away — 2 boys, ages 1 and 4, and 2 girls, ages 3 and 7, plus another boy due the end of May.

Any great grandchildren? 
No great grandchildren yet, thank goodness!

What do your grandchildren call you?
They all call me Grandma.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother?
I received a package from my daughter one day and when I opened it there were two bibs inside, one for me and one for grandpa. I was so excited, the tears were flowing! I also felt a sadness because my daughter lived in California and we lived in West Virginia so I knew that I wouldn't be able to be there in all the ways I had dreamed of, and of course as a mom I was concerned for the health of my daughter and grandbaby.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren?
I see the ones that live 20 minutes away at least once a week, usually more. We have sleepovers at least twice a month with all 4 of them, but we have also started having them over for sleepovers one at a time. It's so nice to have that special time with each one.

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What is the best thing about being a grandma?
The incredible love that you feel for your grandchildren and seeing the delight in their eyes and excitement in their voices when they see you. They really do add such joy to your life.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?
Saying no to those beautiful little faces when their eyes are imploring you for a "yes". 
Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. 
Last night I was sitting with my grandchildren and we were reading some bedtime stories. My 5 year old grandson, Jacob, picked out a Berenstein Bear book about dinosaurs. One of the sentences in the book said "dinosaurs lived many, many years ago" to which Jacob prompty and innocently said "Grandma, were you alive when the dinosaurs were here?" God bless him!

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? 
We do so many things together here that it's impossible to narrow it down to one! We do crafts, play games, bake, do experiments, exercise, read, play dollhouse and pirate, etc., etc! I love the quiet times of reading when they all snuggle around to see and hear.  And I love it, love it, love it when I can rock one of them!

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house?
The excitement as they share anything new they have been doing or new pictures or art work they have made. 

What/where has been your favorite family vacation?
Two years ago I actually won a week in a beach house at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was fantastic! We had a very short little path to the sea and we could sit on our deck and watch the ocean. We spent so many hours just playing in the sand and surf. It was so nice to have the house right there for anything that was needed or potty breaks!

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits?
I'm going to admit that I wish I had done a better job of this through the years with my grandchildren in Caifornia. They are going to come and spend a month with Grandpa and I this summer and I am so excited about that!


What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren?

  • A love of God 
  • A love for others
  • Confidence in themselves and their abilities
  • To treat people with kindness, dignity and compassion 
  • Honesty 
  • A love of reading 
  • Don't be afraid to fail; always pick yourself up and keep trying 
  • Follow your dreams!

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

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent?
Let them do it their way. When my son and his wife announced their desire to birth their baby at home with a midwife, I was not happy. I was scared, especially because of learning about everything that could go wrong while studying childbirh in nursing school. But I said way too much and it was not appreciated. It caused problems in our relationship that took quite some time to get right. So, no matter how you feel about their choices, don't question them.

What is one thing (or more) you're proud to say you do right as a grandma?
I offer unconditional love to my grandchildren and they love to come to my house.

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma?
Don't share your words of wisdom with the parents unless they have asked you to.

Is there anything else you would you like to add about being a grandmother?
Remember that incredible love you felt when you gave birth to your own children and held them in your arms for the first time? Well, get ready for it again, because the love you feel for those little grandchildren is totally amazing.

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Do you have a website or blog? What is the URL and what is it about?
I do have a blog and the name of it is Aging Like a Fine Wine, My hope with my blog has been to connect with other women my age about things that are important to us at this stage of life, one of which is grandparenting.