Liberated and Free, Me


Liberated and Free, Me

First things first,

I am not sick. (THANK GOD.)

I am not having a mid-life crisis. nor am I having a mental breakdown, though I have been suffering.

Suffering mostly in silence off and on for almost 30 years.
AND I am finally ready to share my secret.

Deep breath Ricki…. Here goes…..

I have been struggling with hair loss for most of my adult life.

It has been debilitating, embarrassing, painful, scary, depressing, lonely, all the things. There have been a few times where I have even felt suicidal over it. Almost no one in my life knew the level of deep pain and trauma I was experiencing. Not even my therapist/s over the years knew my truth.

I know that by sharing my truth, I will be striking a chord with so so many women and men. I am not alone in this and my goal is to help others while at the same time unshackle myself from this quiet hell I have been living in.

Ever since I played Tracy Turnblad in the original Hairspray back in 1988 and they triple-processed and teased my then healthy virgin hair every 2 weeks during filming, my hair was never the same. (Yes, that was all my own hair in the film.) From Hairspray to Hairless. 😞

In my case, I believe my hair loss was due to many factors, yo-yo dieting, hormonal birth control, radical weight fluctuations over the years, my pregnancies, genetics, stress, and hair dyes and extensions. Working as talent on various shows and movies, whether DWTS or my talk show, also took its toll on my fine hair.

I got used to wearing extensions, really just over the last decade. All different kinds, tried them all, the ones that are glued on, the tape-ins, the clip ins, and then into a total hair system that I hated, and finally to a unique solution that really did work pretty well for me for the last 4 or 5 years. I tried wigs on a few occasions but never could get used to them. It all felt fake and I was super self-conscious and uncomfortable.

I’ve been to many doctors, gotten steroid shots in my head, taking all the supplements and then some. My hair would recover and then shed again. It was maddening.

So of late, after 2 months of bliss ‘working’ in London and after my last extreme diet where I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks, my hair started shedding again, big time.

This time, I say no more. I have to be set free.

Free of the maintenance every 10-12 days, where my added hair would need to be tightened (sometimes painfully) and my gray hair would need to be colored. I felt like I was a slave to this maintenance schedule. I wouldn’t go out of town longer than 12 days, because of this. I even brought my hair fairy and dear friend, to London during my stint there to do what she needed to do to keep it on my head.

Well, it is a new year and new decade and a new me. With the love and support of some of my dearest friends, John Bonny, Mandy Ingber, Sarah Havana Prats, and my love, Jeff Scult, I buzzed my hair off and it feels so good!

Huge heartfelt thank you to my dear friend Amanda Demme for photographing and capturing this pivotal moment in my life. ❤️

I am liberated.
I am free.
I am releasing and letting go.
I am brave.
I am beautiful.
I am love.

For 2020 and beyond, I want to be real.

(I will on occasion choose to wear hair, but now it is for fun, not because I am hiding anything. I am so done with hiding.)

Happy New Year and decade to all! 🙌🙌🙌🙌❤️

-Ricki Lake

FB.com/MsRickiLake
@rickilake on Instagram

*******


Monsters

James Blunt performs "Monsters"

James Blunt writes that his new song, Monsters is, "a eulogy to my father - except he’s still alive and kicking. But he’s not been well - his kidneys are functioning at just 11%. And with that realization, I needed to tell him that, to me, he’s more than just a father. He’s my friend too, and that I love him." 

Monsters is a song that deeply captivates, and drenches the heart in tears of anyone who has had death pull them apart from a loved one. The only line we'd change as it is played out in real life is 'no need to forgive...' Rather, forgive now. Forgive often. Forgive over and over and over again. Break the chains. End the cycle. Let it go. Give it to God, and find real, raw, authentic, lasting healing. Don't allow generational pain continue, for the sake of your wellbeing, your children, and their children...



Monsters Lyrics:

Oh, before they turn off all the lights
I won't read you your wrongs or your rights
The time has gone
I'll tell you goodnight, close the door
Tell you I love you once more
The time has gone
So here it is
I'm not your son, you're not my father
We're just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So daddy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.

Oh, well I'll read a story to you
Only difference is this one is true
The time has gone
I folded your clothes on the chair
I hope you sleep well, don't be scared
The time has gone
So here it is
I'm not your son, you're not my father
We're just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So daddy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.

Sleep a lifetime.
Yes, and breathe a last word.
You can feel my hand on your arm.
I will be the last one
So I'll leave a light on
Let there be no darkness in your heart.
But I'm not your son, you're not my father
We're just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So daddy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.


James Blunt sings to his father in "Monsters"

James Blunt and father during the filming of "Monsters" music video.

Altered to being between a daughter and her mom: 

Oh, before they turn off all the lights
I won't read you your wrongs or your rights
The time has gone
I'll tell you goodnight, close the door
Tell you I love you once more
The time has gone
So here it is
I'm not your daughter, you're not my mom
We're just two grown women saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So mommy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.

Oh, well I'll read a story to you
Only difference is this one is true
The time has gone
I folded your clothes on the chair
I hope you sleep well, don't be scared
The time has gone
So here it is
I'm not your daughter, you're not my mom
We're just two grown women saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So mommy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.

Sleep a lifetime.
Yes, and breathe a last word.
You can feel my hand on your arm.
I will be the last one
So I'll leave a light on
Let there be no darkness in your heart.
But I'm not your daughter, you're not my mom
We're just two grown women saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud
So mommy, won't you just close your eyes?
Don't be afraid, it's my turn
To chase the monsters away.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

U.S. Flags with Intact Info Needed for GIAW, Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival


1500 hand-held U.S. flags are needed to pass out during Genital Integrity Awareness Week in Washington D.C. this year. Each flag has 2 patriotic-themed intact information sticker stapled to it (one per side) for awareness raising during this week. This year we will have "Defend HIS Freedom" on one side and "Watch American Circumcision on Netflix" on the other side of each individual flag.

Flags are *very* popular in Washington D.C. during the Cherry Blossom Festival, National Kite Festival, at the U.S. Capitol lawn, and at the White House where we march to on Saturday. We could pass out far more than 200 flags per day, but this is our goal to raise funding for, along with an extra 100 for the GIAW March (1500 total).

Frequently, chaperoned groups who will not allow students to take other intact materials from GIAW leaders will allow them to accept and take home flags (getting intact info into their hands)! It is very important to have enough of these U.S. flags (with stickers attached to each one) for every day during GIAW, and for use during the march.

At Amazon, flags are approximately $29 per set of 100. If you are able to sponsor one full day ($58), or one 1/2 day ($28) worth of flags OR any number of flags, small or large, we THANK YOU for your involvement and support of these pivotal GIAW items! To chip in here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=CA3SNG55J4MDU&source=url

Or via mail to:

GIAW / Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Sponsors will be listed here and at the permanent GIAW site by first name / last initial only, for privacy, or with your business name and link if you'd like to include this. If you would like to cover one specific day, the march, or stickers, please mention this in a note.

GIAW FLAG SPONSORS

MONDAY (GIAW Kick-off, 200 flags):
 🇺🇸

TUESDAY (200 flags):
🇺🇸 

WEDNESDAY (first day of Child Abuse Prevention Month, 200 flags):
🇺🇸

THURSDAY (200 flags):
🇺🇸

FRIDAY (and the Silent Survivors Stand, 200 flags):
🇺🇸

SATURDAY (and the March to the White House 200 flags):
🇺🇸

WHITE HOUSE (+100 flags):
🇺🇸

SUNDAY (and the GA Clothesline, 200 flags):
🇺🇸

FLAG STICKER SPONSORS
(3,000 vinyl, waterproof stickers for all flags needed)
🇺🇸
🇺🇸
🇺🇸

THANK YOU!!
Intact Info Flags for tourists headed to the U.S. Capitol


Virtually ALL passerbys request a flag or two to take home with them -- until we run out of supplies.

GIAW Intact Info Flags

Kids love to hand out flags during GIAW too!

Group of students takes home flags, bracelets, and cards from the U.S. Capitol during Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2019.

Many tourists stop to talk at the U.S. Capitol and take home a flag and information.

U.S. Flags with intact information attached are the perfect item to take home from a visit to the Capitol during Genital Integrity Awareness Week!

During GIAW at the Capitol we repeatedly hear, "I didn't know that..." while sharing information respectfully and providing materials for tourists to take home with them.

Even if someone is too timid to come up and chat, they can grab a flag with intact info to take along and read on their bus...
GIAW Leaders handing out flags at White House

Watch American Circumcision on Netflix stickers

Defend HIS Freedom stickers

Men at GIAW march to the White House: Shane, Brian, Glen, Andrew

15 Creative Baby Nursery Themes


Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com
Picking a theme for the baby nursery is the first (and arguably the most difficult) step in the nursery design process. Your choice will set the tone for your baby’s room and determine where you shop for nursery items. Plus, you’ll be spending many hours in the nursery with your little one. 
Needless to say, you want to choose a baby nursery theme that suits your personal style. Looking for some fresh ideas for baby’s nursery? Here are a few creative baby nursery themes that are sure to make the baby’s room your new favorite hangout spot.

Fairytale Enchantment–Got a little princess on the way? Transform your baby’s room into an enchanting space with a fairytale theme. Opt for a white crib, accessorize with baby girl bedding in soft pink hues and finish off the look with an adorable tulle crib skirt. Then, hang up string lights (out of baby’s reach, of course) and decorate with mystical creatures.

Lemon-Inspired–There is nothing sour about this sweet baby nursery theme. For a citrus-inspired nursery, decorate a light blue, gray or white wall with cute lemon decals. Fill an unused corner with a faux lemon tree or keep it understated with random pops of yellow.

Woodland Wonderland–Spending time in nature is good for us. If you can’t take your baby to the woods, why not bring the woods to your baby with an outdoor nursery theme? Striking forest wallpaper behind the crib, coupled with wood grain accents, is sure to bring a peaceful vibe to the baby’s room. 

Little Traveler–Eager for the baby to see the world? Give your little one a case of wanderlust with a travel theme nursery. Trick out your baby’s nursery with a world map accent wall, hot air balloon décor and stuffed animals from around the globe.

Modern Boho–In case you haven’t heard, boho interior design is having a big moment. Why not test out the trend with your nursery design? Give your little one’s room a free-spirited vibe with rattan furniture, macramé wall décor and an earthy color palette.

Vitamin Sea–Anchors away! Bring a nautical theme to life with ocean wall art, a musical crib mobile with sea creatures and plenty of seashell décor. A nautical theme is also the perfect excuse to paint the baby’s room an ultra-relaxing shade of blue.
Followtheflow/Shutterstock.co

Gorgeous Gray–According to Pinterest’s 2020 trend report, searches for “unisex nurseries” are up 527 percent. Whether you’re keeping the sex of the baby a surprise or you simply want to avoid forcing gender stereotypes on your baby, a gorgeous gray nursery is the perfect solution. To keep your gray nursery from looking too bland, add interest with unique textures, different shades of gray and trendy foliage.

Starry Night–Encourage your little cutie to reach for the stars by surrounding them with the night sky. Paint an accent wall dark blue and decorate with white or gold star decals. Complete the look with a moon phase wall hanging to give your baby’s room a dreamy, celestial vibe.

Elegant and Moody–Who says that the baby’s room needs to be bright? Make a bold statement with a dark, moody wall in the nursery. Soften the look with feminine florals and pretty gold accents. Then, add texture and practicality by placing a gorgeous leather rocker in the corner.

Librarian Chic–Foster a love of reading by giving your baby’s room a cute librarian theme. All you really need to make this theme work are books, books and more books! Paint a bookshelf in a bold hue to make it the focal point of the room. You could also give the nursery a literary twist by hanging a quote from your favorite author on the wall.  

Classy Vintage–Can’t get enough of vintage décor? Bring your love of antiques and delicate pastels into the nursery. Use floating shelves to display your eclectic finds and hang one-of-a-kind décor in the baby’s room. Repurpose a vintage dresser into a gorgeous changing table for your little cutie. One quick word of caution: Avoid using a second-hand crib. Many older cribs aren’t up to current crib safety standards, so find a new crib that merely looks vintage.

Taking Flight–There’s no need to wing it on your nursery décor—not when you have an airplane theme to steer your design choices in the right direction. Go for a red and blue color palette for your little pilot and hang vintage airplane prints in the nursery. Add the finishing touches with rustic details, such as the baby’s name in galvanized lettering behind the crib.

Flower Power–When in doubt, you can’t go wrong decorating your baby girl’s room with gorgeous florals. Let big, statement-making blooms steal the show with stunning floral wallpaper. Prefer to keep your florals as accents? For some nursery inspiration, check out this gorgeous nursery that took Reddit by storm. The pink floral crib sheets pop oh-so-beautifully against the green background. And don’t even get us started on that brass crib!

Cactus Cutie–Similar to the boho trend, southwestern interior design is blowing up right now. That means you’ll have no trouble finding desert-themed décor for your baby, including chic cactus wall prints and cactus-themed crib sheets. A pretty color palette with pale oranges and pinks will add softness to your desert theme, making it perfect for the baby.


Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Minimalism–With the right approach to nursery design, a minimalist baby nursery can look elegant and stylish. Stick to a neutral color palette, clean lines and a few pops of bright color to add visual interest. Clutter is the antithesis of a modern minimalist nursery, so be sure to take advantage of wall space and get creative with storage.


Finding Your Nursery Style
Whether you’re a big fan of color and traditional themes or you prefer a modern nursery with a neutral color palette, you’re sure to find some design inspiration with these creative nursery themes. Just remember to design the nursery with your baby’s basic needs and safety in mind. Happy decorating! 

Common Questions on Newborn Care During COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic is definitely not how parents pictured bringing a child into the world. But now that the little one is here, all you can do is keep them safe and healthy by following proper newborn care. It’s natural to have many questions given that these are unprecedented times for new parents too. To help you out, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about newborn care:

Q: Can I still set up postnatal appointments?

A: Postnatal checks are for doctors to make sure that both mother and baby are healthy. These usually happen between six to eight weeks after the baby’s birth. And while it’s ideal to visit the doctor’s office, you should consider scheduling virtual appointments instead. Your healthcare provider should be able to provide you with tools to monitor critical information, such as your blood pressure and weight, as well as instructions to use them. Video calls are best so that your doctor will be able to see you and your baby. Virtual healthcare offers a safer and more convenient option for your postpartum needs, as well as your child’s.

Q: Should I delay routine vaccinations?

A: That said, there are other medical needs that require a physical visit such as vaccinations. A lot of parents are asking if they should delay well-child visits to minimize their exposure to coronavirus. To answer that question, pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Amy Edwards says it is age dependent. And for children under the age of one, vaccine appointments should not be postponed. Newborns have weak immune systems and can catch different infectious diseases even if they remain safe at home.

When visiting the pediatrician, observe the safety guidelines to lower your chances of catching the virus. Follow the World Health Organization’s infographic on proper handwashing as well as other precautions like social distancing and wearing masks.

Q: Does breastfeeding transmit the virus?

A: There is currently no evidence suggesting that breastfeeding transmits the virus from the mother to the baby. Experts say that it is completely safe to continue breastfeeding your newborn. Not only does breast milk contain most of their nutritional needs, it might even provide babies with antibodies that help protect them against the virus.

You can also still use a breast pump and provide your little one with essential nutrients and antibodies. If you’re having trouble choosing the right pump, Medela’s two most popular models, Freestyle and Sonata, are great options. The first one is a double electric pump designed for portable use, while the second is a hospital-grade design that is best for home use.

Q: Is it safe to take my newborn outside?

A: It’s good for moms and newborns to go on walks as long as they’re healthy. In fact, the fresh air and sunshine will do both of you good. Of course, there is the question of safety during a pandemic. Adults should still practice safety measures with an emphasis on social distancing. Newborns cannot wear masks and their immune system is still developing, so it’s best to stay away from crowded spaces.

The baby’s comfort is another consideration as they are still very sensitive. The variety of strollers on iCandy show how design and durability are extremely important when choosing the right model for your baby. The ideal stroller should be lightweight yet built with integrity and easy to move around. It should also be able to handle different kinds of terrains, like pavements and grassy fields, so you can easily avoid busy areas. Additionally, you can add accessories like umbrellas that block the sun and minimize your child’s exposure to other people.

Q: Can I entertain visitors?

A: It is generally unsafe to allow visitors around your newborn baby. Older people are at an increased risk for COVID-19 so grandparents might have to wait a while before they can play with the baby. However, if they are willing to self-isolate for two weeks, then it is possible for grandparents and other visitors to see the baby.

These are incredibly strange times for everyone, especially for parents of newborn babies. There are, understandably, many adjustments to be made when it comes to caring for your child. But following them should not be a question as your baby’s health should be your number one priority. 

50 Questions to Ask Your Child to Get to Know Them Better

Just because you're a parent, that doesn't always mean you know your child. In fact, kids may show one side to you and another side to someone else like other family members, friends, or teachers. As a parent, I understand how frustrating it can be to think you're missing out on a part of your kid's life.

So, what's the solution then? Ask.

Yes, you can simply just ask and talk to your kid to get a better understanding of them. If you're unsure where to begin, and you don't want to come across like you're interrogating them, here are 50 example questions you can ask your child to get to know them more.

If you’re looking for more variety or you eventually run out, you can find tons more online. There are hundreds of questions to ask kids readily available for you. Enjoy getting to know kids better, you’ll be amazed at how they open up.

50 Questions to Ask to Open up Communication

The key to asking your child questions about themselves is to not overwhelm them. It's important to develop positive communication with your child as this helps their development in numerous ways. They can understand how to talk to people, the right and wrong ways to express their feelings, and more.

The problem here is that many kids respond to our questions with short, one-word answers like "yes", "no", or "fine". Worst, some don't answer at all or may even just give a grunt.

Where do we go from here then if we want to get to know them? It starts with open-ended questions that allow you and your child to keep the conversation going. The following offers some suggestions that you can use. I've divided them into different categories so you can better broaden your approach.

10 Fun Questions to Ask Kids

Sometimes it's best to take a lighthearted approach to better communicating with your child. So, here are some fun questions you can ask.

Fun Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers


1. What makes you feel happy?


2. If you could run outside and do anything, what would you do?


3. If you could change all your toys’ names, what would call them?


Fun Questions for School-Aged Kids


4. If you had $100, what’s the first toy you’d buy?


5. If you could be invisible for the whole day, what would you do?


6. If you and your friends joined the circus, what talents would you all have?


7. If you got turned into an animal right now, what animal would you want to be?


*alternatively, you can follow this up by asking them which animal they wouldn’t want to be*


Fun Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers


8. How would you design your own personal treehouse and who would be allowed in?


9. Out of you, your friends, and our family, who do you think would do best in a zombie apocalypse?


10. If you could have a sitcom about your life, who would play you and what would it be called?


10 School-Related Questions to Ask Kids



Plenty of things can happen at school that our kids may keep from us whether purposely or accidentally. In any case, here are some ways that you can address their school days and also leave the conversation open to learn more about what goes on there.

School-Related Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers


1. What’s the coolest thing you learned today?


2. Did you play any new games on the playground?


*this can lead into talking about who they played with*


3. Did you help your teacher with anything today?


School-Related Questions for School-Aged Kids


4. Did you learn anything hard today or was everything easy for you?


5. If you could take your teacher’s place, how would you make your class more fun?


6. Are there any parts of school that you don’t like?


School-Related Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers


7. Do you like working on group projects or do you think you do better by yourself?


8. What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to learn about?


9. What’s the strangest thing that ever happened at school?


10. If you could throw a party at the house, are there any kids in your classes that absolutely must come?


10 Imaginative Questions to Ask Kids

Getting to know your kid can sometimes happen if you take a step away from the real world for a while. Asking imaginative questions allows your child to stretch their creativity and let you in on how they see the world or would like to see the world.

Imaginative Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers


1. If your favorite toy could talk, what would it say to you?


2. If you could make anything in the snow/sand/mud, what would you create?


3. What would our house look like if you could put anything you wanted inside?


Imaginative Questions for School-Aged Kids


4. If you could have any super power, what would you want?


5. If you can make up your own class in school, what would it be about?


6. What do you think exists on other planets in space?


7. How do you think the world would look if everyone had flying cars?


Imaginative Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers


8. If you could pick a different point in history to travel to, where would you go?


9. What’s your favorite book and what would happen if you got transported inside of the story?


10. What would be your perfect place to vacation to if you could leave right now?


15 Serious Questions to Ask Kids

There's always a place for fun questions that may get a laugh, but sometimes, you need to address your child on a deeper level to understand them better. These questions may help you get there.

Serious Questions for Toddlers/Preschoolers


1. What do you think love means?


2. What do you think of that makes you feel sad?


3. Is there anything that makes you feel brave or scared?


Serious Questions for School-Aged Kids


4. What does a friend do that makes you laugh or upsets you?


5. Do you wish anything would change about our family?


6. What makes our family special?


7. What do you think is the best way to show people you care about them?


8. What’s your favorite/happiest/saddest memory?


Serious Questions for Older Kids/Teenagers


9. If you were told to keep a secret that made you uncomfortable, would you do it?


10. If there was anything about yourself you would change, what would it be?


11. What do you think the biggest problem in the world is today and how would you fix it if you could?


12. What would be your dream job when you grow up?


13. Are your friends fun to hang around, or is there someone else you wish you were friends with at school?


14. Do you have any resolution you want to work on this year?


15. If you could make the rules at home, what would you make?


5 Silly and Random Questions to Ask Kids

Even the silliest, most out-there questions can have their place and teach you a thing or two about your child. These questions are random enough that you may find a way to ask them to any kid regardless of their age.


1. What do you think aliens look like and could you draw them?


2. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve either done or saw someone do?


3. What’s your favorite and least favorite smell?


4. Would you rather be stuck in a zoo or an amusement park?


5. What voices would animals have if they could talk?


Final Thoughts


It's important to have open communication with your child regardless of their age. This helps not just in their development, but also in building a solid parent-child relationship. Remember not to badger them or they're more likely to shut down. Give them room to express themselves without judgment and actually listen to what they have to say.

You never know: you may have more in common with each other than either of you once thought.


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