Yesterday was the Spud’s birthday. She turned 11! When I hugged her before she left for school, I mock-sobbed and said "My babyyyyyyyyyyy’s growing up!". She laughed.

We took her out to eat at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant, in Huntsville, for dinner. For her last two birthdays, she had sleepover birthday parties, and I’ve always ended up pissed as Hell because when you get a bunch of 10 year-old (or 9 year-old) girls together in a room, they simply will not shut their big mouths and go to sleep. Last year, Fred spent the night in a hotel so he wouldn’t have to be around for the big event. At 2 am, the girls (who were sleeping in the basement) were still going at it, chattering and shrieking and laughing. I stood at the top of the stairs and bellowed "You girls had better be quiet, or I’m going to start calling your parents!" This, you understand, was after telling them every five minutes for the previous three hours to keep it down.

Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care if they went to sleep. Hell, as far as I was concerned, they could stay up all night. We have an alarm system, and there was no way they were going to be sneaking outside or anything. I just wanted to be able to go to sleep myself, and even through the earplugs I wore I could hear their chatterings and shriekings and laughing.

So last year at 2 am, after I yelled that I was going to start calling parents if the girls didn’t start being quiet, I picked up the phone and dialed Fred at his hotel. What I didn’t realize until the next morning is, they thought I was calling their parents! I should have thought of it hours before.

Anyway, we went to Landry’s last night for dinner, which kind of sucked. We all love seafood, but the Landry’s dishes leave something to be desired, though their oysters are damn good. Kind of hard to screw up raw oysters, I’m guessing.

After Landry’s, we went home and did the cake thing, then she opened her presents. May I say that the child gets an UNGODLY amount of presents. My parents go nuts buying her presents, as does her father, and Fred and I kind of do too, I guess. I was lucky if I got a third of what she gets, when I was her age. She has too much damn stuff, too. There’s not enough space in her room for all the toys she has, and she rarely plays with any of it. She doesn’t appreciate all the stuff she has, either, not a bit of it.