Mother’s Day Fun

In 2018 and 2019, Space Coast Mothers of Multiples had a May event designed as a Celebration of Motherhood. Among many things in 2020, it did not take place for obvious reasons. Sadly, the tea shoppe where the previous events were held did not last through the pandemic, so a new approach was deemed necessary. For 2021, a Celebration of Motherhood was really done in three parts!

First, club partner Allison Leigh Photography, set-up a day when our members’ families could do individual mini sessions at a discounted rate. The turnaround time was amazing and the images were excellent! As a thank-you for participating, the club also gave each member family a photo frame to use in displaying their portraits.

Second, the club ran a Secret Santa-esque exchange where members could opt-in to share their favorite things and be matched with someone to put together a small gift for. Recipients did not learn who magically left them a porch present, and many of the participants remarked about the great items they received. Below are a couple of the great packages!

May Gifts

Last, to make sure all were included, Mother’s Day cards were mailed out to all members. Space Coast Mothers of Multiples has had a holiday card tradition going for a few years now, but this was the first mass-mailing attempted otherwise – and aside from a few cards getting delayed on their way to their destinations, feedback was warm and fuzzy.

These were lovely ways to be reminded how meaningful it is to be recognized as a mother, even if no big event could take place.

A Socially-Distant Spring

Getting together for an Egg Hunt (see: 2019 and 2016 as examples) is a favorite springtime activity! Even though the logistics of having big family events has been challenging all term, this year’s Spring Party proved to be a step toward the way things used to be for Space Coast Mothers of Multiples. Crafts were take-home and snacks were pre-packaged, plus the egg-hunting was set to allow for four age groups with small numbers in each. It was different, but it was still a lot of fun. Many of the kids complimented the tiny toys found in the eggs!

For Multiple Birth Awareness Month 2021, the club designated a Saturday to do a 1K at a local park with paved paths. This allowed families to get as close to one another as they desired, while visibly raising awareness about multiple birth families.

Nationwide, Multiples of America hosted a walk/run/sleep-in event all month long, with funds raised from registrations to go toward scholarships and grants. Space Coast Mothers of Multiples was glad to be able to take part!

Finding Family Fun

It may be a year into the pandemic, but members are still looking for ways to have fun as a family, so the theme of this month’s general meeting was just that: Family Fun. There was a wide variety of ideas and approaches discussed, so to archive some of that information, a blog post seemed to be the perfect fit!

Two club members presented suggestions and led the discussions, starting with the club’s resources devoted to families. First up is the new Family Fun folder in the Facebook group – this is a compilation of ideas that others have tried or have thought looked like great ideas. Crafts, fun meal themes, print-outs, games, scavenger hunts, and more are already filling the album, with the hope that members will continue contributing to it whenever opportunity strikes.

Also discussed was the Summer Playdate Calendar – the club puts a lot of emphasis on spending time together during the summer, when kids are out of school, so playdates are offered weekly for those months rather than the more typical 2-3 per month. Venues range from outdoor and indoor, free to ticketed, weekday and weekend, morning and afternoon, and are even aimed at various ages to help make all of our members feel welcome. For Summer 2019 and prior, members have also taken the initiative to put together charts of all of the local free movies and library activities that the large county as to offer, which has been an excellent resource for members as well.

The club has a Resource Guide that is updated twice annually with all sorts of information, large chunks of which are very useful to planning family activities! There is a page for library stortimes, one for local festivals, a few for local attractions, a few for trail guides across the county, plus an opt-in map of where members live and a membership directory to help members connect better with those who live near them, have multiples of a similar age, or even just similar interests! Examples of these pages were shown, as well as the links that make the maps (both directory and trail) interactive.

For many years, an annual camping trip was something that the club looked forward to. It was revived earlier this month for Spring Break with a three-night trip to Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest. Those families who attended reported a great time with plenty of family fun, and the club intends to examine bringing it back again in 2022.

February 2021 Member Breakdown

February 1st starts the second half of the membership year for Space Coast Mothers of Multiples, so it is typically when a demographic overview is updated.

Types of Multiples: the club has similar numbers of boy/boy, girl/girl, and boy/girl twins. There are two triplet families currently, each having two girls and one boy. No current members have quads or higher. One of the members currently expecting does not yet know the sexes.

Ages of Multiples: While many clubs across the country have their highest numbers in expecting, newborn, and infant mothers of multiples, Space Coast’s membership has a balance of age groups, with about half of the members having age 3 and younger, and the other half age 4 and older. A quarter of all families in the club have multiples ages 7 and up.

Location of Members: “Space Coast” is a nickname for Brevard County, Florida, as NASA and other space systems companies are based here. The county is 72 miles north-to-south, and it also includes barrier islands, yet our membership extends beyond those boundaries. We have members who raised their multiples here and have moved but continue to remain in the organization, and we also have members in neighboring counties where formal clubs do not exist. The breakdown is more balanced at the moment than it has been in several years.

Length of Membership: The club’s 38th birthday is less than three months away, and their longest-active member has belonged for 28 of those years! Nearly a quarter of the club’s members have belonged for over five years, and its growth rate is great with another quarter of its members just joining in the past twelve months!

More than Multiples: Lastly, a quick look at how many members have children in addition to their multiples. At present, there are no members with more than one set of multiples. Nearly half of the members have additional children, but amusingly, no member has singletons both older and younger than their multiples at the moment.

As seen above, many different types of members make up Space Coast Mothers of Multiples. If you’ve wondered about the group in the past or are discovering it now for the first time, please reach out – more information is available and your emails will be answered promptly.

For a look at how this compares to past numbers, 2019 can be viewed here and 2020 can be viewed here.

What other demographic information would be interesting to learn more about?

$500 for the Brevard Zoo!

For the past five years, Space Coast Mothers of Multiples has held an online fundraiser the week of Black Friday where it showcases various online sales companies, each of which donates a portion of the sales to our chosen cause. Given that online shopping is perhaps more popular than ever, it is no surprise that the event did very well this year!

Due to the pandemic, the Brevard Zoo (here in the heart of the Space Coast!) has been severely impacted. The club selected the Zoo to be the recipient of this year’s donations, which totaled $500. As many of the member families frequent the zoo (or did when their multiples were younger), it is near and dear to hearts club-wide, and has been since it was built! In the early 1990s, several MoMs did a day of volunteering to help prepare the area now known as Paws On.

This post will later be updated with photos once donor recognition elements have been installed at the zoo.

A Different December

With the pandemic continuing on, the club opted not to have craft playdates or a family event in December, which are typical mainstays for the organization. It did, however, continue with its annual Sock Exchange event.

The attire was not only “ugly sweater,” but also included a competition for best socks! Everyone also brought a pair of socks stuffed with goodies, and to play it safe, this year the socks weren’t opened until all picks and steals had been made to minimize handling. It definitely made for an interesting activity, to choose a gift purely based on its wrapping! Three sets of MoMs ended up selecting the socks that one another had brought, so it was certainly an evening where great minds thought alike! It was different to not enjoy the comfy couches and bowls of snacks that is the usual, but attendees were grateful for the opportunity to sit spaces out on a member’s patio and enjoy pre-packaged goodies nonetheless.

Fall Fun 2020

With no Back-to-School kickoff to our membership year, and no big trip to Partin Ranch, the fall was starting to look a little rough in the face of the ongoing pandemic. Fortunately, some members came up with a safe idea for a socially-distanced Trunk-or-Treat, and it was a highlight of the fall!

The club had a fantastic turnout with 54 children and their families participating. Due to the nature of the event, it was difficult to capture photos of everyone, but ALL of the costumes were as great as these!

The fall’s Informative meeting was a virtual roundtable focused on Education during the Pandemic. Members submitted questions in advance, and a moderator led the discussion, ranging from picking a preschool to dealing with elementary bullying.

The MoMs had a day out at EPCOT in September for the third year, but the dads had their own fun at Hollywood Studios this year, too! Little by little, the world is reopening, and the club did a moms’ night out at a local art studio in October, as crafts are a favorite with this bunch! The annual holiday group shopping trip at the local outdoor mall continued to be a hit as well. The rest of the fall was peppered with virtual moms’ nights in and playdates at parks and outdoor ice cream venues.

A Virtual Convention

2020 continues to be a year like no other. It is the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Florida Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, and a cruise had been the planned celebration. Instead, the fluff was cut from the convention, and only a series of three meetings was left.

The General Session that is typically held the third Saturday of the month was supposed to move up a day this year but was placed back in its traditional spot once the details of a non-cruise weekend were ironed out. The meeting that is typically held the Friday of convention weekend was held the Saturday prior, and the one typically the Sunday of convention was held the following Saturday.

All three meetings had good participation, though many are already crossing fingers for next year’s re-do cruise.

Space Coast celebrates having a member in an elected position again this year, as Sandra Losavio returns as Treasurer. Additionally, Amy Bredemeyer will be serving her fourth term appointed as Newsletter Reporter.

FOMOTC will be led this year by the indefatigable Terri Gillis, member of both Greater Orlando Mothers of Twins & Triplets and Flamingo Mothers of Multiples. She previously served as President 1983-1985, and has continuously served the organization in a variety of roles, most recently (and concurrently) as Executive Secretary.

The next FOMOTC meeting will be held virtually in January – all members of a club registered with the organization are invited to attend, please contact your State Representative for more information, and be sure to read your quarterly Sunshine Twinformation!

National News

Unfortunately, there is nothing to report from the 2020 Multiples of America convention, as it was unable to take place this year due to the pandemic. However, voting did take place to conduct the business of the organization, so this month that information will be shared in its place.

Multiples-of-America-jpg-logo

The board seats were uncontested this year, though that might see a sharp change next year, as the structure of the board will be shifting. A bylaw passed that will condense the board of directors beginning in 2021-20222 into fewer seats and adjust the duties into different subsets. Additionally, Space Coast is excited to be represented on this year’s board of directors: our Membership VP, Amy Bredemeyer, will serve as Multiples of America’s Research VP this term!

The budget also passed, though the bylaw that would have changed that budget did not: a long-overdue amendment for a dues increase was defeated.

On an exciting note, there is no wait until Halloween this year to learn where the next national convention will be held: San Antonio, the city where the 2020 convention had been planned, will host the organization’s 2021 convention instead. Be sure to watch the website for more updates throughout the year.

2019-2020 in Review

While COVID-19 stopped a lot of the club’s planned activities over the past five months, it was still a great year!

The 2018-2019 board left the 2019-2020 one in good hands with a full summer of playdates already scheduled, and the 2019-2020 crew one-upped them by adding a Beyond Brevard playdate each month to focus on visiting new areas with the support of other mothers of multiples. Local hits included parks like Westwind, Suntree Rotary, Spyglass, Fred Lee, Gleason, and North Solerno (where holiday crafts were a bonus!). Indoor locations such as Morgan’s Place, YuJump, Rain or Shine, Urban Air, and the Wickham Community Center worked for all different ages and abilities. New (and somewhat distant) places included the Orlando Science Center, District Kids in Oviedo, Fort Christmas, Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, and even Walt Disney World’s All-Star Movies Resort. Toss in a good measure of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary and the Brevard Zoo and it was really a bountiful year before the pandemic pushed playdates to the likes of Virtual Show-and-Tell!  

Moms’ Days/Nights Out had something to offer everyone this past year, from the nature lover to the artsy mom to those who just want to relax. There was a Sea Turtle Walk, coordinated visits to both Personalized Peach and Get Fired Up, playing Friends Trivia at Intracoastal Brewery, visiting EPCOT for the Food & Wine Festival for the second year in a row, dinner and drinks at 4th Street Fillin’ Station, and even Twisted Rooster’s final Drag Brunch! After things went virtual and plans to hit an Escape Room (among other ideas) fell through, members met online for Scattergories, Pictionary, and some chill happy hours as well.

Five Family Events were all hits this year, and the club has started taking its “standards” up a notch. The Back-to-School Party last August was at a pool, the annual trip to Partin Ranch included a sponsored tent for a shaded lunch, and the Holiday Picnic featured a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus! The club also did a Boo at Zoo meetup near Halloween, and again rented a movie theater to see the latest family-friendly film: Frozen 2. 

2019-11-23 10.11.40group pic Dec 2019 party

Special Events took an especially hard hit due to the widespread spring cancellations, but the term kicked off with couples’ ax-throwing before the focus shifted to hosting the 39th Annual Convention for Florida Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs (FOMOTC). It was an extremely successful weekend of “Magical Dreams in 2019” in Cocoa Beach. The club also held its second annual sock exchange holiday party in December with a great crowd, and this year’s February Parents’ Night Out event was at Hell ‘n Blazes.

The seven board meetings took on some extra personality, as they were held at Pizza Gallery, Bold Cup, 4th Street Fillin’ Station, and an all-day planning session at Droplit.

The General Meetings this year ranged from a widely-advertised Open House to Trivia Night, Halloween Craft Night, and crowd favorites Potluck & Games and Wine & Chocolate.

Due to COVID-19 killing the spring, only one educational event was held this year, but with a topic like Estate Planning, those who attended took copious notes!

In addition to events, the club successfully raised almost $300 for their Welcome Baskets initiative, held a No-Bake Bake Sale as their FOMOTC philanthropy project, and boasted a Virtual Spirit Week surrounding the club’s Founder’s Day in May. The club also launched monthly Lift-Off meetings as an opportunity for members to get encouragement and support one another in a safe environment. Additionally, for a second year, members contributed to a social media campaign as part of Multiple Birth Awareness Month. There were also four drive-by birthday parades organized for the families celebrating birthdays in May and June. Lastly, it revived its monthly newsletter, Challenger, last August in an effort to better connect with members not frequently on social media.

It’s been quite the year, and although so many great ideas from the 2019-2020 board were unable to come to fruition, the 2020-2021 board is dedicated to creating a fun and inclusive term ahead!