November 20, 2012

Surprise Themed Surprise Party

My daughter is turning 10 in just a week (I can't believe it!) and as we were planning her party, she said those awful words which I had been dreading but knew I would hear one day: "Mom, can't I just have a normal birthday party?"

WHAT?????  NOOOOOO!!!!!

If you look around my blog, you will see that I love throwing themed birthday parties.  It's a fun creative outlet for me. It made me sad to think my little girl was too grown up for such things.

So naturally, I decided to deny she ever said such a thing and do my best to convince her to have a fun themed party.  In fact, it was my mission to convince her to let me throw her a foot party.  Here was my case:

You are turning 10 - you have 10 toes on your feet!
We could do pedicures!
We could play fun foot games like picking things up with your toes or leg wrestling!
We could make socks! Or decorate socks! Or hand out cute socks as party favors!
We could have a foot beauty contest!
We could say cheesy things on the invitation like "Hoof it on over" and "we'll foot the bill!"

Yeah, she wasn't buying it.  I even tried giving her choices: "You can have a Barney party, a sesame street party, or a foot party.  What do you want?"

I don't know why I was so insistent. I guess I was just being funny.  I was talking with Jason about my inability to convince Maren that a foot party would be hilariously awesome and he said "You're in charge.  Just throw her one.  She doesn't have a choice.  In fact, you should just throw her a surprise party and have it be a foot party."  My husband is a genius.

But in the end, I couldn't bring myself to do it.  I could just imagine her delight at a surprise party turn into tears as she realized it was a surprise foot party.  But I had to have some sort of theme, so it turned into a Surprise themed Surprise party.

I sent out emails to the parents informing them of the date and time and asking them to not tell their girls until the night before so Maren wouldn't find out about it.  This was fun for the girls who were invited too, because what a happy surprise to find out that you're going to a party and you don't have to wait a long time to go!  Unfortunately, some parents didn't wait for whatever reason, and Maren found out about it on FRIDAY.  We were so close!  Apparently a girl let it slip that she could come to Maren's party, and Maren assumed she meant the party we were talking about throwing in December, so she asked another girl who was on the invite list if she had received an email from her mom also.  That girl said "How did you know? It's supposed to be a surprise party!" Maren was pretty upset when she got back in the car after school that day, and I tried to tell her I wasn't mad at her for finding out about it.  She even knew the time when it was supposed to happen.  *sigh*  Even the best laid plans . . .

So, being the sneaky mother that I am, that night I told Maren that I called all of her friends and changed the time so that she still would be surprised.  Of course I didn't really because that would be too much work, but she believed me.  Her grandparents came down that morning to take her on a birthday breakfast date.  She knew that the original plan was for her to be surprised when she got home from that event.  When she left, Jason told her that she was going to have to hurry and do her practicing and chores as soon as she got home so she would be ready for anything that might happen that afternoon or evening, wink wink.

When Maren got home, we had all the girls hiding up in her room.  Her brothers were downstairs playing the wii, I hadn't put out any decorations, and her grandparents hugged her goodbye and told her they would see her again later in the day.  Maren lingered downstairs and Jason kept bugging her to go to her room and practice.  She finally came up and when she opened the door, the girls blew horns and yelled "surprise" at her.

Yeah, she was surprised.

We then proceeded to have a fun surprise surprise party.  For the party, I made a "Wheel of Surprises" out of a cardboard circle, golf tees, large box, colored paper, and dowel.  I added a piece cut plastic milk jug to be the pointer.

I split the kids into two teams.  I told them that since this was a surprise party, it was going to be a surprise what party games we played.  I had pictures representing the games as well as bonus points so lots of people would get a chance to spin the wheel.  They came up with their team names and we spun.  The winners of the games got points for their team.

We played charades.

Maren being an opera singer

We did a relay race with beanie babies on our heads.

We moved the couches to be forts and had a sock war (which ended in a tie, because it's really hard to have a winner at sock war).  The girls really liked this game (which also would've been a great game at a foot party).

ready to fire

watch out for flying sock balls!!

I also put a foot on the wheel, just to tease Maren.  When we landed on that space, I threw socks around the room and the teams raced to pick them up with their toes and put them in their team's basket.  The team with the most socks won.  Maren laughed and thought I was a ridiculous mother.  I told her that wasn't respectful, but probably accurate.

hurry and get those socks!

After games, we had a small lunch, since it was around that time of day.

Then we opened presents.

Then we ate cake (I had hidden it in a cupboard).

Finally, the girls got to have a surprise party favor.  I had put small trinkets in colored balloons which matched the colors on the wheel.  They spun and then popped whichever color balloon the wheel landed on.  Each girl spun twice. I don't have a picture.  Also for party favors we handed out lollipops, tattoos, stickers, and candy necklaces.

When the girls had arrived in the morning, they came in and drew on a huge "Happy Birthday Maren" sign we had put up on the wall.  They continued to draw on it after the party while we were waiting for parents.  Maren was delighted with it as her friends wrote down nice things and it's a fun reminder of her birthday.  

I'm going to go ahead and count it as a successful surprise party. Christopher says he wants a surprise party for his next birthday.  I say "How about a foot party?"


  1. You are so amazingly humorous and creative! Great photos! Happy Birthday, Maren, from Great Uncle Tracy and Aunt Helen

    1. Thanks you guys! Hope you're doing well on your mission.

  2. Love it! That first picture of her coming in the room is priceless! :) You are so creative and making such great memories with your kids...even if they tell you that you are ridiculous. :)

    1. hahaha. Thanks. I do enjoy being a bit on the ridiculous side.

  3. Wonderful! What a fun time for Maren!

    Great Aunt Ginger

  4. I love your foot party idea!!! Love all your parties!

    1. Thanks Aimee! I thought it would be fun, but Maren thought it would be too embarrassing.

  5. I want a foot party! I would have definitely chosen the foot party but your surprise party looks awesome and that photo of Maren opening her bedroom door is priceless.

    1. Thanks! I do think a foot party would've been fun, but I guess she's not cool enough for it yet.

  6. Ohhh so sad this is the first of Maren's parties we've missed in a few years. Only you would think of a surprise surprise party. If you ever need to make some extra cash, themed party consultation, baby.

  7. Well done. You are the party queen. Way to make it a surprise even though it had been ruined. That was really tricky!

  8. New follower from the link-up.

    I love the look on your daughters face as she is opening the door; that is a great capture!


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