Twinning Attitude!

Join Fran Pitre and friends for uplifting, supportive, healthy conversation and information on topics important to all moms (and all women) today!

ANOUNCEMENT!! I have begun an important new blog: FranPitre.com October 19, 2011

This is BIG!

Dear Twinning Attitude followers,

Please do me the honor of going to:

FranPitre.com

my new blog in which I provide information, advice, tips, resources and solutions for other moms of multiples!

Please check it out and give me your feedback … FranPitre.com will be the site in which I will blog from here on because I have a true desire to help support and assist other moms of twins (or more) with challenges they may have, to provide answers to questions, and solutions to problems … many of which I’ve probably experienced for myself over the years while being the mom of three sets of twins!

Thank you so much!!

~ fran

 

Check out the “TWINS x 3 by Fran Pitre” Facebook fan page! February 21, 2011

Filed under: Announcement!,Update! — twinningattitude @ 12:42 pm

 

Hello Twinning Attitude! visitors!!

I would LOVE for you to visit my facebook fan page: TWINS x 3 by Fran Pitre, and click “like”!

Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/TWINS-x-3-by-Fran-Pitre/355337570823

There’s info and funny posts updating fans on the book’s promo activities, and lots of other stuff …

And thank you twinsx3.com visitors!! We’ve topped 15,000 hits from 11 countries worldwideWOW!

 

 


 

Stress and Motherhood: this mom’s perspective February 20, 2011

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 5:09 pm

Motherhood and stress go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure most of us would agree that living our lives as parents among our other identities tends to stretch us a bit thin.

I’ve not posted a new Twinning Attitude! topic lately because I’ve been experiencing an abundance of stress-triggering situations and ongoing demands that have been overwhelming me. But knowing I’ve got to persevere for the benefit of myself and my family, I need to find that “winning attitude” myself and hold on to it … and live it!

I’ve decided (as I often do when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need some sort of stress-releasing solution) to sort things out by writing it all down. So, here I will share:

1) those “stressors” in my life;

2) my reactions and means of coping (some of which that are not so good);

3) and finally, make and enact a plan to cope in more healthy, positive ways.


STRESSORS:

1) Finances have always been and will always be high on the list of stressors. Regardless if we’re in a prosperous or time of financial struggle, the focus and importance placed on family budgeting, planning, finding creative solutions, etc., is an enormous source of stress, worry and energy-depletion;

2) Children and their well-being is an all-encompassing, 24-7 stressor on me. As a mom, I hit the floor running each day jumping right into the role of caregiver, meal-preparer, grocery-shopper, laundry-doer, home-cleaner, van-driver, problem-solver, toddler-rocker, story-reader, bath-giver, nose and bottom-wiper, and the list goes on as so many of us know. I fortunately have a very hands-on, willing husband who is the perfect Daddy to our children. He parents his children as all Dads should, and his assistance is very needed and appreciated by me! But, he is also a very busy architect and project manager at the office where he works. He is under a lot of pressure and puts in very long hours, and business often takes him out of town for days or weeks at a time. Often, he comes home exhausted, and my reaction is to try to make our home the inviting, warm, loving retreat it should be for a husband and father who works so hard for his family. Is it that wonderful place of peace and solace each evening when he arrives home? Nope, try as I may. An argument between our teens or tweens will invariably pierce what was until only a second ago, a gentle bubble of quiet and peace, while the pasta begins to over-boil on the stove top, and the phone rings while one of the toddlers takes a toy out of the other toddler’s hand who then begins to SCREAM. (–sigh–)

3) When the kids get sick or hurt, I become terribly stressed-out and emotionally drained. Thank God we’ve not any injuries so far beyond a broken finger, sprained ankles, assorted head bumps, cuts or bruises. And as far as illness are concerned, I’m not talking about coughs or colds, but the big stuff, like those violent stomach flu bugs, or those high fevers associated with flu or strep. When one or more come down with these illnesses, which may happen when my husband is in or out of town, I go into a survival operational mode, determined to do anything and everything needed to get him, her or them well.  By the grace of God, we get through these episodes, and when all finally settles down, I usually end up with whatever illness I was nursing my kids with, or I collapse out of exhaustion from lack of sleep for several nights in a row.

4) Meeting my family’s needs while trying to please everyone (which I understand is often impossible) is very stressful, and is an unending, daily challenge. Twin 3-year-old boys are a complete handful. They are potty trained, and know when and what to do … when they WANT to. Dealing with this type of stubborn behavior is enough some days. Then when I factor in my 11-yr-old daughter’s very busy soccer schedule, my 11-yr-old son’s baseball schedule, my teenage daughter’s dance classes, and her twin’s assorted club and school activities, I become stretched in many different directions. Helping to assist with school projects, homework, test prep, problems and such can also take up so much time and energy. Two student drivers to ride with for practice while they have their learner’s permits is the definition of stress alone!

5) Having 2 teenage girls.

6) Did I mention the need for me to work and bring in a supplemental income? I am presently actively promoting my book, “TWINS x 3”, provide creative design services for a local real estate business and my daughters’ high school development office, and own/operate my home show direct sales jewelry business.

It all sounds like too much. Some days it works well, and some days I want to pull out my hair.

 

 

WAYS OF COPING IN THE “NOT-SO-BEST WAYS”

After I delivered my 3rd set of twins at the age of 44, after 3 months on pregnancy bed rest, I think my body decided to go on strike.  I just didn’t bounce back into shape as I had (with some help of diet and exercise) with my earlier two twin pregnancies and deliveries. I retained so much pregnancy weight and pain in my hips and neck from the months on bed rest that I seemed to struggle more to complete my important daily tasks. Although I was determined to shed the unwanted weight, I worked out, dieted, and tried different ideas for almost 2 years with only little success. I found some success with a metabolic-approach, but because the program itself was so expensive, I couldn’t sustain it. I kept off the weight I’d lost (over 20  lbs.) for several months, but when additional financial challenges hit, as well as the holidays (eek), I (unbeknownst to myself), began to slowly put much of the weight I’d so hard-fought lost, back on. (–second sigh–)

I admit it. When I’m stressed, unhappy, (or even happy), worried, in the middle of conflict with my husband or my kids (usually the teenagers), or overwhelmed by anything in anyway, I tend to retreat (when my husband is home to care for our lil guys) to my home office or my bedroom and shut the door where I can find quiet, peace, have a complete uninterrupted thought, and find some distraction in a book or from a television program. Sleep offers a wonderful escape, too. But another form of self-soothing is finding that bowl of left-over pasta to heat up, or a bowl of cereal, or toasted bagel at 4 in the afternoon when I’m not even hungry. I’ll prepare dinners for my family which will include the comforts of carbs such as rice, pasta or potatoes. I’ve been known to go back for seconds. Oh, and lets not forget that candy bar grabbed at the check-out counter and added to my groceries because “I deserve it”, because it’s been “a tough day”! I eat these sometimes on the way home from the store or once I’m in my room or office and can enjoy them by myself.

I also believe that I’ve been in a bit of a depression initiated by the overwhelming business of life. Some days I stay on top of every task and duty, and enjoy walking the boys up to our neighborhood park to play while exploring the world of tall trees, pine cones and doodle bugs. Then there are  other days I feel like I don’t care if the dishes pile up, or the laundry isn’t folded and put away, or the toilets aren’t scrubbed, … as long as everyone is clean, fed and gets to and from school/practices. Just do the basics. I know I should exercise because I’d feel so much better both physically and emotionally, but I don’t feel like exerting the energy. I just don’t want to get out of bed some days at all. I don’t want to, but I do.

I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to eat my feelings. I don’t want to fill in the cracks of my heart with a spread of peanut butter on my cherry pie, like Paul Blart. I don’t want to continue wearing the same clothes day after day while looking at 3/4 of my unfitable wardrobe. I don’t want to look at joggers, walkers and bikers and just wish I’d feel like doing that. I want to look forward to this summer being able to wear my favorite shorts, tops, skirts and swimsuits.

 

 

NEW PLAN

Okay, I’m done.

I’m done with loving my scale one day and hating it the next. I’m done making excuses and wanting to curl up under a blanket to feel better. I’m done wishing things were different sometimes, and am now determined to count my blessings, shake my own shoulders and see this through.

Two and 1/2 weeks ago, I started a new weight loss plan and I’ve lost 10 pounds! Another 3, and I’ll be back to where I was before I started to regain. But I’m not stopping there. I’m going to continue until I am really happy with myself. Will I get there by eating differently alone? No. Yoga and power-walking will not only help this program along, but as we all know, will release stress and increase healthy blood flow and brain function. My brain could really use some healthy functioning. I’m making efforts to have girl friend get-togethers … so dinner or a movie out every couple of weeks or so. And having a date with my husband 2-4 times a month is a top priority.

Will changing from a negative, self-soothing attitude to a healthy, positive attitude with an active plan underway take out all the stressors in my life? Of course not, but I hope that as I continue to make better choices in the way I handle what life hands me each day, I’ll find more peace and ability to cope which can teach my kids how to cope with life’s challenges in healthy, positive, productive ways.

 

 

For some advice that I found helpful, please visit: http://stress.about.com/od/stressmanagementtools/a/joy_motherhood.htm

How do you cope with the stress in your life? Give me your feedback and some suggestions for other Twinning Attitude! visitors … your comments may be just what someone out there needs to hear!  🙂

 

CONGRATULATIONS JULIE M! December 13, 2010

Filed under: Announcement!,Drawing Winner! — twinningattitude @ 9:12 am

The winner of the drawing for a signed copy of TWINS x 3 is Julie M.!!

Julie, thanks so much for posting your comments on Twinning Attitude! Your name was chosen on Saturday, December 11th, and you will now receive a signed copy of TWINS x 3 for yourself or to share with a friend. Look for an email from me with details and info.!

Everybody, please continue to post on Twinning Attitude, and become eligible to win our next drawing!

Again, a very Blessed, Merry Christmas and Happy, Safe Holidays to all!

~ Fran Pitre

 

Does Santa visit your home? November 29, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Tips and Ideas — twinningattitude @ 10:18 am

In our home, Santa Claus (aka Saint Nicholas) visits each year on Christmas Eve delivering gifts and treats to the children in our home as a passed-down tradition. St. Nicholas’ ancient practice of secretly filling the stockings of his town’s poor children is the basis for this Christmas tradition. We remember that Nicholas carried out this practice with the Christian belief of giving anonymously, so as not to take credit for generous deeds.

Each year, our children write a letter to St. Nick describing how “good and giving they’ve been this past year”, and include a list of two desired gifts. They place this letter in their stockings on the night of December 6th (the Feast of St. Nicholas), seeing the next morning that their lists were taken during the night. As parents, we love this practice, because after that point, there can be no wish-list revisions! 🙂

Our childrens’ Catholic elementary/middle school provides us with a list of children in need our local area each year, and along with each child is a list of items that he or she would like that Christmas. In many cases, the gifts asked for on this list are the only gifts that these children will receive that year. So, we choose one child from the list and place his or her wishes in an extra stocking. We then pick out one or two of the listed items, wrap, and then have our kids deliver the gift(s) to their school on behalf of St. Nick! They get to be his “helpers”, and have an opportunity to experience the important blessing of giving!

Many families believe that continuing the tradition of Santa Claus is “lying to their children”. Many Christians believe that Santa Claus is a pagan, secular, commercial figure who distracts from the focus of Jesus’ birth as the basis for this holiday celebration. I can understand this position, but we believe that St. Nick (a very devout Catholic Christian in his day) loved our Lord very much, and celebrated His birth by continuing the tradition of giving as did the wise men (the three kings or Maji) when they brought precious gifts to the new born King.

As our children grow up and realize that an actual man in a red suit does NOT come down our chimney to deliver gifts, we share with them that, because they now have learned the secret behind Santa Claus, they may now as “big kids” help continue our tradition for their younger siblings, so that they, too, can experience the joy, anticipation, wonder and excitement of the spirit of St. Nick, along with anticipation and celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

One day, Santa will no longer come to our home, and we’ll look back, never regretting the joy and excitement that this tradition brought to our children and to us!

Please share your thoughts!

 

Your Family’s Special Christmas Traditions … November 27, 2010

Filed under: Let's talk about ...,Well-wishes! — twinningattitude @ 1:13 pm

It’s so important to form lasting family traditions that can be passed down.

From the way in which you decorate your home and your Christmas tree, to your favorite Christmas music, to your special foods and treats, and for whom those special gifts are bought or home-made … all of us have special traditions, rituals or celebrations we do each year as families.

For the Pitres, decorating our home, both inside and out, with our favorite lights and very special ornaments are a must for us! We have a secret and scrumptious family Christmas cookie recipe, which my Mom baked for years as we were growing up, and that I took over the first year we were married. I have only missed making them ONE year … the year Kathryn and Lauren were born the week before Christmas 1994! Every year before and since, however, we’ve not missed the tradition of baking and decorating these delicious confections, and I’ve SO ENJOYED entrusting the painting and sprinkling to the KIDS! We have our absolute FAVORITE Christmas music CDs which begin Thanksgiving evening, and continue all the way until January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany (the date celebrated as the Maji arrived in Bethlehem with gifts for the new born King!). We have a traditional Christmas dinner, which usually is patterned after the full Thanksgiving dinner menu, but one special tradition is to prepare Cajun red beans and rice for Christmas Eve. This was the meal my Mom prepared on Christmas Day 1994 while we traveled back and forth between home and two different hospitals to be with our

Remember and create warm Christmas memories.

newborn preemie baby girls in 1994. It was the perfect crock-pot meal that could cook all day while we were gone, and be ready for us late that night when we finally returned home! Since then, we prepare that dish each Christmas Eve in memory of our baby miracles, who will both turn 16 this December 18th!

It is not until after January 6th that we take down and carefully wrap up our Christmas decorations in preparation for the next year, because only after the Feast of the Epiphany is the 12th day of Christmas complete.

What are some of your family Christmas traditions? Post some of your unique, funny, memorable things that you do every year with your family? Be sure to post your traditions, and become automatically entered into a drawing for a free, signed copy of TWINS x3 for yourself or as a gift!

From our family to yours, we pray that you all have a very safe, happy, healthy, blessed and memorable Christmas 2010!

 

UPDATE: Amy’s (TRUE) Miracle!

Filed under: News and info to share!,Update!,Well-wishes! — twinningattitude @ 12:17 pm

A couple of months ago, Twinning Attitude! posted an appeal for prayer and support for Amy and Shannon Trahan. Amy was in the depths of her battle with Choriocarcinoma, a rare reproductive system form of cancer. I’ve been receiving updates on Amy and her preemie baby girl Anna from her wonderful nurse, Kim. Kim recently expressed how miraculous Amy’s continuing recovery, as well as how baby Anna’s growth and well-being, are going! Amy, now able to do her own blogging, posted the below comment on her blog: Amy’s Miracle, about 3 weeks ago:

The last weeks have been a big adjustment. I got released from the hospital on the 15th a day before my princess Amanda’s 16th birthday. I have been more thankful then ever for all the support I have had from the community. God, our church, family, and friends. All the love has helped me so much in my recovery. I have been admitted to the hospital for the next few days for a big round of Chemo. My numbers are looking good so I should be released soon. I am so excited to see baby Anna. She is doing so good. What a beautiful baby. My legs are getting stronger and I am able to walk without a walker … this has been big for me. I love you all and can’t wait for the day I can share my testimony with everyone. God is great!

Love,  Amy M. Trahan


Amy, we’re SO RELIEVED and HAPPY for you and your family. God truly is GREAT! We look forward to hearing your testimony with everyone!

Please visit: amysmiracle.com for further updates on this amazing lady’s battle and ongoing victory!