Sunday, September 30, 2012

My week according to Instagram

I can't believe we have come to the end of another week! My life is moving too fast. Check it out:

From top left: Oats sweetened with Stevia and strawberries - Me waiting for Ben 10 Live Show to start - Noo waiting for show to start - Batman walking into the city being chased by Ben 10 - New Ben 10 alien figurine - My new 'do - Getting my hair done by the lovely Elly at Stevie English Hair - A bowl of cappuccino - Me and my natural hair colour all fizzed in the humidity - Mala with her new amber beads - Another skim piccolo - My best friend Amie, her daughter Madison and Mala - Noo on the swings on Tuesday - Looking after Mala Monday - Noo Noo does breakfast

Linking up with the awesome Tina at Tina Gray Dot Me.


Friday, September 28, 2012 does Droptober!

2012: a year of failed attempts to lose weight

As anyone who reads this blog regularly would know I've made a number of attempts this year to get back on the weight loss bandwagon with very little success. It is amazing how easy it has been to fall into old habits, even after successfully losing 20kg since having my lapband installed. To be fair, I have had a lot of issues this year: my mood slid downwards, my lapband had to be loosened and I endured a bad case of anaemia and Restless Leg Syndrome. It was enough to put me right back where I was before weight loss surgery: pigging out on chocolate and lollies and all things bad for me!

I have to get back to crossing off these goals!

Comfort eating: Just don't do it 

Despite weighing 80kg, I started 2012 feeling pretty terrible, going by my blog posts in January. Check this one out. I sound miserable. Life was getting me down. Then a couple of days later my mood has improved somewhat but I'm spewing up food stuck in my lapband.

By February I'm attempting to exercise more but I'm chronically backed up, and telling anyone who'll listen about it. My Restless Leg Syndrome got worse, bringing with it terrible anxiety and exhaustion. What do I do when I'm anxious and tired? Eat all the stuff that is bad for me.

I didn't blog about it at the time but I remember it all too well: It was sometime in late February that I got gastro and spent a lovely evening from 5pm to 2am chucking my guts up. With a lapband, food can go in your mouth, down your throat and slowly through the band and into the stomach. Once it is through to the other side, it ain't coming back UP again. When lapbandits talk about PBing (productive burping) the food that comes up hasn't made it past the band. It has just been sitting in the pouch on top of the band so it doesn't hurt to bring it up.

With every convulsion my body shook and I retched in pain as I felt the foreign body within my abdomen move up and down my oesophagus. After what seems like forever, I finally got my dad to get me to the emergency room. There I was given morphine for the pain and all but 2mls of the fluid in my lap-band was removed to release the pressure around the top of my stomach. A few days later I weighed in at 79kg, the lowest I'd been since I first got my band installed.

I went back to my surgeon later that week and he was very impressed with my weight. He said that 79kg was a very healthy weight for me and suggested I now try to manage my diet without such tight restriction in my band. I agreed.

Attempting to go it alone: Fail

Since then I have attempted to live with low restriction in my lapband so I can eat bread and other carbs, as well as lean protein without having to worry about getting stuck all the time. I was amazed that, even though I could eat without getting stuck, I was still feeling full much quicker than I did pre-lapband. I figured I could eat small portions of good food like normal person.

It didn't take long before my weight slowly started to creep back up so I made several appointments to go back to my surgeon in order to get a fill to increase the restriction in my band, therefore decreasing the amount, and type, of food I could consume. Each time I cancelled. I was so sick of having to be cautious about every little morsel I put in my mouth. The whole cutting up into tiny pieces and chewing carefully and waiting 30 seconds between each mouthful. Eating shouldn't be such a chore! Plus I loved having bread, pasta and rice back in my diet.

But my attempt to eat like a normal person failed. And put on 7 kg.

I thought if only I could give up the bad stuff I'd lose it again. But my addiction to sugar is so strong:  I made a really lame attempt to give up chocolate for a month in a bet with my mum and sister. I failed. And then I tried to quit sugar because that is what everyone else is doing and the kegs are dropping off these people. Not me. Another fail.

It's all about ME

I finally did go back to my surgeon a couple of weeks ago and he put a bit of fill in. Not really enough because I can still eat bread, pasta, rice. I will definitely be going back for more soon but I know I have to do this, lapband or not. Only I can make that mindset change and just fucking do it.

I have learnt so much over the last few months about what's good and what's not. In particular, I've learnt an enormous amount about sugar. Basically, it has got to go.

And this has to be a lifestyle change. It needs to be a package deal: Eat less and better and exercise more.


With just three months left of the year, I am making a pledge to myself and to anyone who would like to sponsor me: I've signed up for Droptober. Not only will your sponsorship give me an enormous about of motivation to stick to my guns, you will also be helping the Children's Charity, Variety.

I've started early because I'm hoping to drop those pesky 7 kg I've put on since March.

This is it. I'm psyched. I'm currently up to day six without chocolate and I've had very little sugar.

I'll be blogging about Droptober through the month.

And if you'd like to help motivate me and at the same time help raise some money for Variety go to my spaceship page here.

Thanks heaps for reading.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Somebody that I'd like to know

So I've been a bit stumped for words these last few days. There's a lot going around in my mind but it is not really appropriate for blog fodder. You see, I've met someone. It's only been nine days (who's counting?) and we've only seen each other four times (really, who's counting?) so it is too fresh to comment on.

This happened last time I started dating someone. I blogged about it and then didn't blog again at all until the relationship was over. I think it is because when I have a 'love interest' (where did I get that from? My mum?) my mind gets so consumed with thinking about that person and the possibilities that I can't concentrate on other things. I'm like a teenager, really. I might even write down his name on a piece of paper and then write mine and then count up the letters until they're down to 2 digits to work out what percent he likes me...

Focus Vanessa!

I don't like to write about other people on my blog either. That is a bit of a rule with me - not to comment about people I know, except for my sister who has said it is ok for me to mention her. Oh, and my parents get a small mention here and there, but that is it. My story is my story, but I'll leave others to tell their own stuff. And I don't want any of it coming back to bite me!

So, let it be known; I am happy, excited, nervous, and doing my best to push on with writing good content for my blog... despite the fact that my brain is desperately trying to pull itself back to over analysing one topic.

Now, maybe I should go over to one of those relationship sites to see if it can tell me if he likes me too...

Photo from here

Night, blogosphere. This girl needs some sleep.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

My week according to Instagram

Joining Tina over a Tina Gray {dot} Me for My Week According to Instagram:

It has been a stellar week. Really awesome. I'm happy. Woohoo.


Updated to include blog hop!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm covered. Are you?

The other day I put my name down to be a part of the LIFE Awareness Campaign through the Digital Parents Collective. To be honest, when I saw 'Life Awareness' I thought it would be something to do with mental health. I think after last week's R U OK? Day posts and the fact that mental health issues are a big part of my life, my brain is skewed that way when thinking about life.

When the email came through from the Digital Parents Collective that I'd been one of the bloggers selected to participate in the Life Awareness Campaign I was stoked to discover that it was actually about life insurance and to raise the issue that Aussies are currently massively under insured. 

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month. According to this survey, we're pretty good at insuring our things like our homes, cars and holidays but when it comes to our lives we're pretty hopeless and that needs to change.

Why was I stoked to be chosen to write my very first sponsored post on something as seemingly boring as life insurance? Because Noo and I are very much personally affected by insurance and I know how important it is to have adequate insurance cover: 

Insurance is what feeds us, clothes us and pays our bills 

As my loyal readers will know I am a long time sufferer of chronic depression and anxiety as well as post-traumatic stress disorder after I was a victim of a violent assault in 2007. When I had my first break down, not long after the assault, I was hospitalised and had a lot of time off work. 

I initially took about seven weeks off, returning to work in a fairly high pressured role. I worked my guts out for five months using work as a distraction from what had happened to me. But I was not well. I was not OK. I quickly went downhill and had to spend several months in hospital. 

At the time I was working for a large corporation and, very luckily for me, included as part of my salary package was salary continuance insurance. I didn't even know I had it until a year later when I was back in hospital and very, very unwell. I had been away from work for months and was really freaking out about losing my job and not being able to pay my bills which was adding an enormous amount of stress and anxiety on my already frazzled existence. 

I was in contact with my employers when I could and when it became apparent that I would not be able to return to work for a long time I was told that I could make a claim under the company's group salary continuance insurance policy.

Relief is what I felt. I could focus my mind on my recovery and not on the bills that kept coming in no matter what my health was like.

The insurance company which pays me a proportion of my salary has been awesome; incredibly understanding and patient. From the claims staff to the rehabilitation co-ordinators they have been kind and knowledgeable. 

To be honest, I don't know where I'd be now if I hadn't had my insurance cover which has given me the breathing space to heal, and learn a new way to manage life and its ups and downs, which I'm still doing. That's why I'm writing this post. Before my breakdown I'd always worked ever since I left school. I've always paid my rent, my bills and fed myself. Despite the odd bout of tonsillitis or a chest infection, I've always been pretty healthy. 

You never know when dark clouds may appear

I never would have thought that I'd be unable to support myself due to illness. I especially would never have imagined I'd be unwell and unfit to work for such a long time. Nobody plans for this sort of stuff to happen. But it did happen to me. And now I have a child to look after it is more important than ever that I am able to support him despite my illness.

Based on my own experience, I cannot stress enough how important it is to insure your life and your income - for yourself and your family. 

That is why have participated in this LIFE Awareness Campaign: to help increase awareness of the severe issue of under insurance in Australia and to inspire any of you out there who feel you might need to increase your level of cover to visit the life insurance calculator from Life Insurance Finder and then compare life insurance plans to find the right option for you.

Go on, do it. I know it sounds morbid, but seriously, you have no idea what is around the corner. 

Give yourself the peace of mind to breathe.


Disclaimer: I am participating in the LIFE Awareness Campaign. I received a VISA gift card for this post courtesy of Life Insurance Finder via Digital Parents Collective. I am also in the running to win an iPad3. As always, all opinions are purely my own.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The BB top 5 list of surprising things about kids and parenting

For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to have a child. When adults would ask little Vanessa what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would always respond: "a mum". She, being me, had dreams of taking care of a husband and babies and being a proper little mummy, just like in the family shows on the telly. Probably not a Brady Bunch style family, but a family. And not like my family; in my childhood fantasies I would be a stay at home mum, not a work sometimes seven days a week mum (no judgements on my mum FYI, just saying).

That's my 8ish year old self with my toy babies.
From left to right: Teddy (my all time favourite toy),
Alexis (my Cabbage Patch daughter) and Christina (my sister's Cabbage Patch, ie my niece) 

This desire for kids didn't wane with age. My family is not a particularly big one, and my son was the first grandchild, so I'd never had any real experience with babies either. And even though my lifestyle was very unconducive to raising a child, I still wanted one. At 34 when my newborn boy was first handed to me, I'd never changed a nappy before. Ever.

So when I was kind of thrown into parenthood, on my own (with a lot of help from my now retired parents), I was pretty surprised by some of the stuff that comes with having a kid.

The BB top 5 list of surprising things about kids and parenting

(aged 0 to 3 years and almost 9 months)

1. Kids come with a lot of sand 

Yes. Sand. Our washing machine and dryer are both FULL of sand. Noo brings back the equivalent of half the Simpson Desert with him every day. It is hidden in shoes, pockets, bodily crevices...

Since we had our dining table painted matte black I can notice it more than ever. From the dryer, to the washing basket, dumped on the table and it is everywhere! Sand! For us, this started at around 14 months when Noo started daycare. Everywhere.

Sand collection in action

2. Three year olds really do listen to you and repeat what you say in their own little ways

It is so strange, hearing my most commonly used words thrown back at me by a little person. Except for swear words. I used to be a chronic swearer. I love to swear. I don't know why. Maybe it makes me feel powerful and cool. Why does anyone use four letter words to express themselves? I've obviously cut back on the cussing since Noo could speak, but it is a hard habit to break.

I still say shit a lot. I try to say 'shivers' in replace of shit but still shit comes out. And I try to say 'fudge' in replace of the F-bomb. Despite the fact that I do say shit, oh and 'bloody', quite a lot, I've never heard Noo say either. I told him these are grown up words that only grown ups are allowed to say. He accepts that. For now.

When Noo was a little tacker, with only a few words and phrases, he would say "here-ya, here-ya, here-ya" with his little arms stretched out in the general direction of whatever it was he wanted. It wasn't til then that I realised that I say "here-ya" all the time. As in "here-ya, have this" or "here-ya, gimme that". Dreadful. My mum is always reminding me of that expensive private school education I had and she paid for. We didn't have elocution lessons, mum!

The other funny phrases Noo says, that obviously come from me are: "Oh my goodness!", and "I really fancy a ...", and "Actually...". Also Noo never answers in a simple yes or no. It is always "I will" or "I won't" or "I have", etc. You get the picture.

3. Being a mum can be lonely

I had no idea how lonely being a mum can be. I know I'm a sole parent so of course there'll be times that I feel alone. But I don't think single mums are the only ones who feel it. Partnered mums spend an enormous time alone raising their kids while the father/partner is off at work. 

Also, dad/partner isn't going to be getting up at night for the 3am feed with you. There's no need for two to do that job. There is a lot of time where mum/primary care giver is by themselves with their baby who gives nothing back but smiles and cuteness and lots of good stuff, but it isn't the same as being with someone who is actually going to talk back to you in comprehensible sentences.

Only recently have I really started to absolutely love my solo time with Noo. I loved being with him before now, it was just harder. Now he is nearly four he is conversational, reasonable (most of the time), engaging and a whole lot of fun. We are best buds and I don't feel lonely when I'm with him any more.

4. Somehow you get used to handling disgusting bodily waste products

Poo, wee, vomit, snot. You name it, kids excrete it! We all think it is disgusting. I was always proud of myself that I only got baby poo on my hand once when Noo was a bubba. But then came toddlerhood and toilet training. That shit (yes, pun intended) is messy! And wee? As chief penis holder, while Noo learns to do 'stand up wees', I've got little boy pee on my hands way too often! 

And in the colder months? I had no idea I'd be wiping mucus off the kid constantly and picking his nose for him and wiping the snot trails off furniture... No idea.

The weird thing is that I'm not freaked out about it like I was pre-baby. It is still gross, don't get me wrong, but I guess as a parent, you just can't walk away from it. You just gotta get over it! Someone's gotta clean it up.

5. The love you feel for your own child is like nothing you have felt or will ever feel

OK, so I always knew I'd love my baby. Always. But I could never have predicted how deep and true that love would be. When I found out I was having a boy, I knew I loved Noo and would do anything for him. But it wasn't until I met him on the outside that I truly fell in love.

I know I've shown this pic on my blog before but I love it.
The day we met.

I spent five days in hospital on my own with Noo over Christmas 2008. It was both terrifying and wondrous at the same time. I would not let Noo go. I wanted him in bed with me and was constantly getting into trouble with the midwives for falling asleep with Noo in my arms. It was like if I let him go he might disappear. On the other hand, it was quite a lonely time. I had my own room and had to stay a while because of my history of depression and addiction and just generally lacking any real coping skills. My family and friends came to visit, but only for short periods, and I felt an overwhelming sense of aloneness with this new alien creature that I had no idea how to care for. On Christmas eve my beautiful sister Yolanda stayed with me in the hospital on the bed reserved for dads or partners. The post birth blues had kicked in and I couldn't stop crying. But through the tears and the fear my love for my baby only grew and grew.

Looking into Noo's closed eyes tonight as I carried him from the couch to his bed while he slept, I felt it. That overwhelming sense of pure love that I can't describe. As he lay in my arms, completely vulnerable and innocent, peaceful and calm, I looked into that beautiful soft face and my heart swelled with it. There's no judgement, no conditions. Just love.

I love all the surprises that come with parenthood. I love watching Noo learn new things and overcome new challenges or achieve new goals. He is truly my pride and joy and any other cliché you can come up with. I love that kid.

He is my son and I am his mum.

No surprises there!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

It is OK to say, “I’m not OK”

My story

It was the last weekend of November 2007.

I was not ok.

It was six months since I'd been a victim of a crime that would change me forever.

I was not ok.

It was five months since I'd moved back to Sydney from my life living overseas for several years and my old friends here were all doing different things and I didn’t want to burden them.

I was not ok.

It was five months since I had gotten out of hospital after being treated for depression, post traumatic stress disorder and poly-substance abuse.

I was not ok.

It was five months of living sober for the first time in my life and having to deal with the raw emotion, the flashbacks, the fear, the disgust, the desperation, the sadness, and the sense of responsibility that I'd been the key player in the destruction of my soul.

I was not ok.

It was Sunday the 25th of November 2007 and I was in such a deep dark hole that I thought I'd never ever get out of.

And when my family asked if I was ok, I lied.

I crawled into bed with a bottle of wine and music up loud. A stack of strong sleeping tablets all pushed out of their blister packs and spread over the doona.

I cried. And I cried. And I screamed...


But then I went to my family doctor. I spent some time in hospital. I spoke to people.

And I started to feel a little less not ok.

I got involved with outpatient programs at a very good psychiatric facility and I kept speaking to people.

And I started to feel a bit ok.

I continue to speak to my psychiatrist every week. I speak to my family every day. I hold my three year old son in my arms, and I know…

Nearly five years later, I am more than ok.

With the help of my amazing network of family, friends and healthcare professionals I have come through to the other side.

Who will you ask today?


And please don’t forget: It is OK to say, “I’m not OK”.

For help please use these helpful resources:
Call: 1800 RUOKDAY (1800 7865 329) to connect with crisis lines
Visit: your doctor, a counsellor or trusted healthcare professional
Access: for tips from their information partners

Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The BB sugar experiment: I want the truth

Sugar really is the big thing at the moment. Since I started thinking about giving up that delicious white substance after reading this blog by another mum, I have read as much information as I can find about it. What I have discovered is a raging and divisive debate. A debate almost as passionate as the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) issue. Everyone seems to have an opinion about it; whether they are scientistsjournalistslawyersgovernment bodiesacademics, and so many of them are conflicting.

How could all this deliciousness be bad?

I am a sceptic by nature. I'm cynical too. The sceptical cynic! I am sceptical about diets that claim you only have to cut out one type of food and you'll lose weight. And I am particularly sceptical about claims that something natural, like fruit, could be bad for you. And, whoa, if someone tries to tell me that exercise is irrelevant to fat loss then, well, as much as I'd like to believe it, I just don't. I'm cynical about radical claims such as these, especially when people are making money from them.

But who am I to understand what the truth is and who I should believe? I'm just another person caught in the never ending cacophony of noise bombarding us about the human diet and how to stay fit and healthy.

The ABC published an analysis of the sugar debate, which pretty much sums up everything I've been reading, in a really clear and informative way. If you are thinking about giving up sugar, I recommend you read it here. Make sure you read the comments, they show you how inflamed the discussion has become. This interview with David Gillespie of Sweet Poison fame (also by the ABC) is interesting for the comments it ignites as well.

One aspect of the argument that really interests me is whether or not sugar is proven to be physically addictive. Dr Robert Lustig, who seems to be one of the loudest on the anti-sugar side, says that it is (check out this podcast here, if only to hear the dulcet tones of Alec Baldwin who interviews him). But then there's another bloke, a Mr David Benton, who says that there's no real evidence to prove that sugar is addictive for humans. You can read his paper here if you want. The most interesting bit I got was that this paper was funded by The World Sugar Research Organization. I'm not saying that this guy has been swayed by this fact but it puts doubt in my mind.

And that's what shits me about all this. This issue, just like the AGW issue, is political. Money and power are involved which makes it difficult to know who to believe. Well, it makes it me cynical about the players involved.

For me, personally, I think sugar is addictive. I think about it and respond to it in just the same way as I did illicit drugs before I got sober over four years ago. If there's chocolate in the house, I gotta eat it. If I'm feeling anxious or tired or sick or upset I gotta eat it. If I want to reward myself or celebrate I gotta eat it. And when I try to abstain from it I crave it like a crazy woman. I don't think I need more evidence than that!

But what about all the other claims about sugar? That sugar is worse for us than some fats, such as saturated fats like butter and animal fat? That sugar is just as bad for our livers as alcohol is? That it causes heart disease? That sugar is actually poison!?

How am I, or anyone else trying to wade through all this, suppose to know?

I just want to know the truth. But is there a truth? Is the 'science settled'? Just like the human induced climate change issue, I don't believe the sugar debate has been settled either.

I'll be keeping an open mind on both issues until they have.


I am just your average chick trying to make sense of the information that's out there with my layman brain. I am writing this as I make my way through a bag of Darrell Lea Choc Coated Honeycomb. If I have made any misrepresentations of any person or fact it was an accident and I blame the chocolate!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The BB sugar experiment: Sugar crash and burn

Week three of I Quit Sugar? No. Starting week one again of the I have a lap-band let's use it shall we diet. Or maybe I'm back on the big is beautiful and becoming way more accepted just check out these fabo girls here and here for instance so don't bother dieting at all diet.

Either way, I couldn't do it. I just could not give up sugar. I have a host of excuses! I lasted three days last week. Just until Wednesday night. I went out on a date (yes, a date!) Wednesday night with a young man I met on RSVP (why I put myself back on there I do not know!). The date was at a pub. The first drink I ordered was a Diet Coke. Second, a Red Bull. Can't get more sugary than that!

Since giving up grog I've taken to energy drinks as my 'going out drink'. Dating when you're teetotal is annoying. People are suspicious of non-drinkers. It is true! Either you're a wowser or a recovering alcoholic. I don't know what is considered worse to most Aussie blokes out there. The energy drink at least gives me a little buzz to feel included.

Now I could take this post in a number of directions:

  1. I Quit Sugar FAIL
  2. Lap-band FAIL
  3. Body image acceptance
  4. Online dating as a single parent
  5. Online dating as a recovering alcoholic
  6. Online dating as a fat girl with a sugar addiction
  7. Online dating as a single fat girl in recovery from poly-substance addiction but still in active sugar addiction who also has a kid that she is raising alone
  8. Or maybe I could go to bed early...

Yeah, number eight is looking good right now (even though now, effectively it isn't early, because I've been editing this shitty piece for the last hour!). I ain't making any sense. I'll write something proper tomorrow.

Here's a photo Noo took on the weekend. He doesn't like having his picture taken very often and he's never shown any interest in my phone's camera. Until Sunday. He took heaps of them. This is the best. Totally unrelated to the post but hey, I need something for my LinkWithin widget below.

Batman, Wonder Woman and Spiderman...
Copyright Noo Bandit

Night all.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dress Up Attack! Ned's first music festival

Noo and I went to our first music festival together on Saturday. It was awesome, in every sense of the word. Dress Up Attack was Noo's first festival ever. I, on the other hand, have been to heaps. Dress Up Attack, was a family music and arts event. A complete alcohol free zone (unlike the other festivals I've been too!). It was very 'inner west', if you know what I mean, Sydneysiders. Very inner city. Think Fitzroy if you're reading this from Melbourne. 

The gig started at 10am but as the day went on til 5pm, I figured Noo and I would start slow and make our way there by midday to enjoy a whole afternoon of shakin' our booties. Noo decided he wanted to catch the bus which I figured would add to the whole sense of adventure of the day.

It was warm in the sun, cool in the shade with a fair bit of breeze; a typical Sydney spring day which ended with a shower and a rainbow. The first day of spring in fact. 

Noo decided early he was dressing up as Superman. His grandparents had got him the suit last year which didn't fit then but was the perfect outfit for the day. Noo wore that thing from the moment he got up. 

I just chucked on my most colourful gear and thought I'd make fun of it all too. Although Noo wanted Wonder Woman to accompany him to his first festival he got Whacky Woman instead.

Noo wanted me to go as Wonder Woman, I could only manage
Whacky Woman

Whacky Woman and Superman (who never stands still!)

Whacky Woman but this is my usual get-up

Superman - My hero!
And the trusty trolley. Since ditching the stoller this is our mobile home.

We walked down to Circular Quay via my new favourite coffee shop, The Fine Food Shop, which is hidden in Kendall Lane in The Rocks. I've been past it so many times but only went in for the first time this week. I've already been back three times! I am in love.

This piccolo latte is from The Fine Food Store which is in The Rocks
which I happily promote for free because they make the
best piccolos ever. Even better than my favourite Don Campos.
They use Campos beans too. My drug of choice these days.

Mr Man on the bus to Marrickville. I so thought he'd get fidgety on the
long bus ride from the city to the gig but he was cool as.

When we finally reached the Addison Road Arts Centre in Marrickville I was feeling pretty anxious about the whole thing. For some reason I was freaking out internally about not having the car. We always drive everywhere. For some reason I feel safer with it. You need to lug so much crap around with a kid: change of clothes, shoes, food, snacks, water. You know what I mean. I only take the trolley out on our city adventures like when we do Darling Harbour or the Botanic Gardens - places walking distance from home. Or Harbour places like the Zoo or Cockatoo Island.

Anyway, turns out Noo was pretty nervous about everything too. We handed over our tickets and walked through a small corridor and boom! We were smack bang in the middle of the Spurs for Jesus gig. They sounded awesome but Noo was totally overwhelmed by the sights and sounds and kids and grown ups dressed as weird furry things. It was totally full on. Totally awesome. The kids and the parents were all super cool. Pretty much everyone dressed up. It was fantastic.

But Noo pulled my hand and dragged me out into the light, hoping for escape, only to be met by disco beats coming from the DJ tent and the sound of screaming children on the jumping castle. It was all a bit too much. I found a spare spot of grass and proceeded to lay out our blanket and food supplies but Noo stopped me half way and said "mum, I want to go home".

I was shocked! Noo is usually so confident and so into all things to do with rides and face painting and other kids. I think it was the noise. An enormous cacophony of competing sounds were annoying me somewhat but I wasn't frightened by them like poor Noo.

I mentioned Noo's reaction to another mum in the queue for some food and she said she had the same reaction from her kids when they first arrived. She joked how she remembered what it was like when she first turned up to a festival. I remarked that we, unlike the kids, had grog to help get into the atmosphere. Her response was "yeah, and the rest!".

There it was. I had the feeling, by the looks of the parents, this was my generation of ex party people who were now past doing it themselves but were really happy to be taking their kids to their first festival. I wondered how many of them were now like me: in recovery thanks to too many music festivals!!

Superman getting his jungle moves down

Deliciously salty and fatty corkscrew potato

Noo finally started to relax after he got his face painted.

Superman has an identity crisis and opts for a Batman face

He was very still. My superhero.

The finished work

We checked out TEDDY ROCK but Noo didn't like the noise so we left to the relative calm of the outdoor area.

'Punk/nu-wave Teddy band, TEDDY ROCK'

The DJ tent where Robbie Buck whipped
up a storm of get-down-and-boogie tunes

Fairy floss bigger than his head.
So much for giving up sugar!
He only ate half.

I tried to settle us down in a possie on the grass again but it wasn't long after Noo consumed half of his fairy floss that he was off. I tried so hard to get him to get into that dance tent but obviously he needed to figure it all out on his own...

My bub finally warms up to get in the disco tent

I don't like this music, mum

More disco tent

Jimmy Giggle from the ABC4Kids Giggle and Hoot show turned up to say hi to the kids. He didn't stay long. Noo got a high-5 after I pushed him over several times (god, I'm one of those parents!). Noo was stoked.

Jimmy Giggle turns up for about 20 minutes.
I don't blame him. He has to do that silly voice the whole time!

By about 4pm I was buggered. Noo got changed and we started the long public transport trip home.

The walk back to the bus stop dressed in his usual gear

Waiting for the train

Another great day of the Adventures of Noo and Me!

My kid rocks. I bet yours does too.