National Convention 2019: The Fun

Note: a report on the business of the 59th Multiples of America Convention will be posted following its presentation at the SCMoM general meeting on Thursday, August 15th. Both reports were written by delegate Amy K. Bredemeyer.

Flying into Reagan and getting to the convention hotel was very straightforward, even with buses substituting for the metro. That was only the first of several reasons why it was a fantastic location for the convention – other highlights included being a 7-minute Uber from the waterfront, a block or two from the (free!) trolley stop, a wonderful free breakfast including made-to-order omelets, an included happy hour, and spacious rooms giving a wonderful sleeping environment. I flew in Tuesday afternoon, and after unpacking headed off for some adventure. 

I took the King Street Trolley down to the waterfront, spent an hour touring the Torpedo Factory Art Center (even witnessing some of the artisans working), then hopped on the “baseball boat” for a forty-minute cruise up the Potomac to the Nationals Stadium. Being a huge fan of live baseball, I had a great time, despite being alone. I used the app to pick out what I wanted to eat, headed straight there after getting through the strict security check, and was in my seat just a skosh after the first pitch. The game had peaks and valleys (well, I mean, the opponent was the Rockies, after all), but the bottom of the seventh was particularly exciting, with several great plays and even the completion of a “cycle” for Turner. [if you didn’t know, a cycle happens when a player hits a single, double, triple, and homerun in the same game, but not necessarily in that order.]

Wednesday morning, I was up bright and early to join in on a convention-arranged tour to Mount Vernon. I was fortunate enough to run into a few Florida MoMs I know from our state convention, and I enjoyed spending the time with them as we learned about Washington’s family life, careers, and saw various items that he owned (including his infamous dentures!). The lunch served at the Mount Vernon Inn was very good, and the cherry pie following the meal was perfection. Later that night, following the Opening Ceremonies, was a delightfully delicious dessert spread. Shortly after that was a rousing game of Family Feud! I had joined a team several weeks earlier and we ended up playing in the first of seven rounds. It was definitely tougher to come up with the “popular responses” to the questions, but I’m also not a regular viewer of the program. Still, it was fun to hear the answers everyone came up with all night!

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There was a window of time in the late morning/early afternoon on Thursday, so I went over to a little place called Meggrolls, which is known for their unusual concoctions cooked in eggrolls. I tried the chicken parm and the chorizo, and agreed both were fame-worthy! Next, I walked on over to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which is at the US Patent Office. It only took about an hour to go through, but it’s free and definitely worth it.

Thursday night was a water taxi tour, which I hadn’t originally planned on doing, but decided to join after my other plans were falling apart. I wasn’t in love with the experience (probably because I’ve done a nighttime walking tour of the monuments before), but had a tasty dinner beforehand at Kissou, and some yummy ice cream from The Creamery immediately following – did you know that Alexandria is the Ice Cream Cone Capital of the United States?

Friday’s fun came at the end of the night, with a party themed, “Red, White, and Blue!” There were a plethora of different interpretations of the best way to dress for that, which was good because some of the colorful wigs and loud outfits definitely balanced out my All-American, girl-next-door, fully-pleated dress, haha! The dance competition was also particularly fun to watch, and the snacks available balanced the activity well. Light-up bracelets with themed flower petals on them were available, and the DJ played a great variety of music to please the crowd.

My flight Sunday wasn’t until 2pm, so I walked over to visit the George Washington Masonic National Memorial after breakfast. This one wasn’t free, but it has elevators that travel on an incline and some fabulous history and beautiful architecture (with most of a floor dedicated to viewing the architecture of masonic temples around the country, actually). I timed my visit to coincide with a docent-led tour, allowing for not just informative descriptions but also access to additional floors than are otherwise available. The views from the top were particularly lovely, and I greatly enjoyed the costumes on display as well.

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I was happy to have so many exciting activities to balance out the business of the convention, but look forward to sharing highlights about that part of the trip next!

Reviewing Our 2018-2019 Year

Space Coast Mothers of Multiples thrived during its 2018-2019 membership year! We re-joined Multiples of America and have increased our group’s visibility measurably through that. We participated in National Multiple Birth Awareness Month with a social media campaign. We secured partnerships with seven local businesses. We had a fantastic turnout of 16 at the Florida Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs’ annual convention. (and we’re hosting it in here in Cocoa Beach in October this year!)

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A total of 64 events were hosted, including 23 playdates, 11 planning meetings, 9 moms-on-the-town events, 7 general meetings, 5 family events, 5 special events, 3 educational meetings, and 1 event just for the dads (six of them went out for brunch!).

What types of things did we do at all of these events? Well, a wide variety, considering our members span a large geographic area and have many different interests!

The creative MoMs enjoyed painting at Personalized Peach, the active MoMs tried bouldering at Adventure HQ, the foodie MoMs enjoyed Bruster’s and Melting Pot, MoMs looking for something different had fun at Drag Queen BINGO, and our largest turnout was for a day at the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival! bouldering 3.28.1965864018_10113847117108163_6037023636328546304_o
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Our general meeting themes had some low-key board game or card game nights, two crafts, and a Mexican Riviera potluck (we seem to do tacos once a year!). Our educational topics featured decluttering and organizing, a roundtable on savings tips, and a pair of photographers helping us learn how to take better family photos.

Our special events included our second year of doing an afternoon tea for Mother’s Day and mini-golfing as a couples’ night. Our annual MoMs-only holiday party changed it up a bit by adding the rule that all gifts for our white elephant exchange must fit in a pair of socks! It was a hilariously fun time seeing everything unwrapped. We also expanded our Installation Dinner to include recognition of first-year members, milestone members, and outstanding volunteers.
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Family events included a Back-to-School picnic at the beach, a holiday picnic with crafts and cookie decorating, a Spring picnic with an egg hunt, a group trip to Partin Ranch, and also a privately-booked theater to see Toy Story 4!
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And then there were all those playdates… that is the NUMBER ONE thing our members want from the group, so we tried a whole bunch of different things this year, including publishing a four-month calendar to help busy MoMs better plan their summers! Some of the best-attended included LaPorte Farms, Morgan’s Place, Rain or Shine, Riverwalk Nature Center, Pony Express, and strawberry-picking at Wichmann Farms. Additionally, we visited various splash pads around town, many playgrounds, YuJump, and the zoo. We also tried doing kids’ crafts at playdates and look forward to increasing those in the upcoming year.
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We’re gearing up for another incredible year as well! The board and chairs will be spending an upcoming Saturday working on prepping this to be a fantastic year, but even now we already have 20 events on the books for the 2019-2020 year and we’re less than three weeks into it!

Recognition & Installation Dinner 2019

installation 2019 picLast night, Space Coast Mothers of Multiples installed their new Executive Board! For their 2019-2020 membership year, the  positions will be held by President Arayna Klenke,  1st Vice President Amy Bredemeyer, 2nd Vice President Carrie Howell, Secretary Maria Torsney, and Treasurer Amy Baehl.
Installation 2019bWe celebrated with an Italian dinner at Baci in Rockledge, with 15 members attending. In addition to installing the new officers, we also spent the evening reviewing our 2018-2019 year, including recognizing first-year members, Milestone Members (those who have been in the group 5 or more years), outstanding volunteers, and our Light in Shining Armor. We did not remember to get a group photo of the Milestone Members, but did capture the one first-year member who was in attendance.
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President Klenke also appointed the members to the following positions: Elizabeth Tynes (Library), Amanda English (Stork), Dana Kellgren (Playdates, Social Media), Maria Torsney (Ways and Means, FOMOTC Representative), and Amy Bredemeyer (Website and Archives, MOA Representative). She also co-appointed Amanda English and Teresa Nick as Sunshine. Additionally, she appointed a rotating chair through the Party Planning committee of Amy Bredemeyer, Teresa Nick, Carrie Howell, and Amy Baehl. Screenshot 2019-06-26 09.39.09The next board meeting will be Thursday, July 11th, and all members are welcome to come and throw out ideas, weigh in on decisions, and help with planning upcoming events. The chair positions for Publicity as well as Education and Programming remain vacant at this time, so if you would like to become more involved, please reach out!installation cake 2019

2019 Celebration of Motherhood Tea

After learning that our Afternoon Tea last May at House of Pastel in downtown Melbourne was our highest-rated event of the year, the Executive Board knew that we wanted to try it again. As the size of the tea shoppe has grown in the past twelve months, we were able to extend the event to our friends and families as well this time!
tea party 2019We had a delightful afternoon chatting and sipping tea, and a hot topic was just how delicious the food was – especially the newer items like miniature quiches, palmiers, and brioche sandwiches!
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Lilly, the owner of the shoppe, was a fabulous hostess again this year, keeping our teacups refreshed and answering questions about her delicacies. It was a sweet afternoon to celebrate motherhood.

Happy 36th Birthday!

Space Coast Mothers of Multiples was founded on this day in 1983. To mark the occasion, the club created an infographic that was emailed to all current, former, and honorary members whose email addresses remain on file. Every group has its ups and downs, but the organization is proud of where they are now and where they’re going!

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#AwarenessMultiplied & Spring Picnic

April is National Multiple Birth Awareness Month, and, across the country, local clubs celebrated in many ways. Some held events for the public. Some distributed information in public areas. One even made a Facebook profile frame for members to use. Space Coast Mothers of Multiples chose to do a social media campaign across whichever platforms members use most commonly. All month, members are encouraged to post stories, pictures, or facts about life with multiples, including the hashtags #AwarenessMultiplied and #scmom.

It is an interesting experiment – so many different tales are told, and the pictures being posted are priceless. About a dozen of our members took advantage of this opportunity to share more with friends and family about what it’s like to be a mother of multiples, an experience that not many have had. It also led to an increase in inquiries about our group, and we’re happy to report an exciting number of trial and honorary members are joining!
SCMOM Spring Picnic 2019
Space Coast Mothers of Multiples also put together a lovely gathering for our families to celebrate the arrival of spring. We had a picnic lunch and an egg hunt, plus enjoyed one another’s company while the kids played on the playground or with bubbles (always a hit!), hula hoops, sports balls, and more.

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A Group Date Night

If you don’t have kids, you might never have thought about just how quickly a night out can add up. From paying attention to the length of a movie when budgeting for a sitter to weighing out the benefits of using valet parking to get in and out of a venue more quickly, the details in planning can even be exhausting. When you have two or more children (especially if they’re young!), you also constantly risk the last-minute illness canceling your plans.

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That said, Space Coast Mothers of Multiples celebrated their annual Couples Night in February. The past few have been dinner and wine/painting, but this year they shook it up a little and went mini-golfing. Not regular mini-golf, either… the course they chose offered beer and wine (plus wine-based frozen cocktails!), complete with on-course delivery for refills!

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A fun time was had by MoMs and spouses alike, both on the course and at the bar! It may be tough to get out, but it’s not tough to make memories with those sharing this journey of parenting multiples.