Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I was silent and have prayed...

Some will question what I have to say. Some will not care. Some will support my opinion. I felt motivated to write this in response to the many posts and comments that I have read on social media in the last 12 hours and even the last 12 months. I have felt a flood of emotions and I guess it's best to get them out than hold them inside. They are primarily fear and anger.

I have many titles. First I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I am a husband, a father, I'm black, I'm white, and I am also a police officer. While not one of these titles define me, they all describe me along with many other attributes. But with each category that I find myself in, I have many different emotions.

As a Christian, I am truly fearful for our country. The lack of love that we, as humans display for one another is sickening. I see such a lost world and society, that I am afraid of the direction we are heading as a country.

As a husband, my fear is what my wife has to deal with just for simply being married to ME.

As a father, my fear is that my children, especially my boys, have to grow up in this world. I am afraid that when they grow older and along with them, my brother, my uncles, my cousins, and the rest of the black males in my family and friends are more than likely to be killed or involved in a violent assault from not law enforcement, but from another black male. I am angry that this year alone there has been hundreds of homicides and shootings of black men and no one seems to care other than those that are directly effected. Too many black boys are trying to figure out how to be men because their fathers were taken from them.

As a black and white man in America(the fact that this is an issue is another post) I fear for myself. Being judged by the way I talk, what I wear, how I look, and mostly what I say.

As a police officer I am afraid for my cousin, my best friend, and all the other WHITE male law enforcement officers that I know personally. Right now almost every time they interact with a BLACK male while in uniform they now are labeled a racist or at a minimum, have to overcome the preconceived notion of racism. It is sad, but the truth is, if I were involved in an incident and it resulted in the death of a black person, or any other color person there would not be much media coverage beyond the 24hr news cycle. Every single officer I know will run to the fight and step between you, (no matter your race, sex, or background), and whatever danger you are facing, even if that means losing his life for a complete stranger.

What are we doing about countless murders and shootings this year in Chicago ALONE? Where is the marching and anger of the many young black men whose lives are taken too soon because of violence in their own community?

It is my prayer that I will make my impact and help make the world better one person at a time, one contact at a time, and one day at a time. That we will judge less, and love more. That we will forgive each other and ourselves so that we might be forgiven.

Let's all pray for the family of Alton Sterling, for the two officers, for Baton Rouge, and for our country.

-Daddy Banks

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Joella's Birth Story

Well, Hello! And Happy New Year! Yes, it's 2016, and I don't even want to talk about the last time I blogged! YIKES!!! My excuse is that I had the cutest little workspace in my "office closet" that got transformed into my daughters closet. I'm that weird writer that can only work efficiently if I have a workspace. So, my hubby worked hard transformed rooms around and I'm sitting in my gorgeous new office! I can't wait to get back to blogging and VLOGGING!! I have so many things in the works. I'm not going to set any goals, I'm just going to go with the flow, because what else do you do when you are responsible for FIVE human beings?

But, enough about that, I'm here to talk about the day my DAUGHTER was born. Yes, I can say that now! I have a D A U G H T E R. A mini me, a little bff! She is 5 months old today, and I'm still in shock!

Her birth was pretty dramatic, I'm sure because she was a girl. I was hospitalized for a week in July because I was already dilated to a 2 and was having pretty strong contractions at 33 weeks. I was released on the morning of my baby shower, and was on strict bedrest! I enjoyed my shower so much, my 85 year old madear even made it out. We got showered in PINK, and took it all home to where I had to give Brendan instructions on where to put everything since I was not to lift a FINGER!

We waited day and night for the next two weeks, as I was still having contractions for sweet girl to make her grand debut, but NOTHING. We were prepped, packed, and all ready to go. My doctor loves me so much that she agreed that I was suffering way too much, so she stripped my membranes the morning of August 5th. Easy cheesy, no pain, and we headed home to rest a little, because I got light headed and dizzy afterwards. After going home and napping, we headed to the mall so I could walk her out.

We walked, and walked, and I even did squats. We bought a few outfits for the hospital, and even some cute last minute things for her. We tried everything, and still nothing. My contractions would get bigger, then stop. My best friend,twin, midwife stayed the night with us so she could be here in case I went into labor, and I just knew that morning around 4 am that I was in labor. Hubs and I threw on some shoes and walked a block around the house. I got back home and bounced on the exercise ball, and.... yep. They stopped. So back to sleep we went.

I woke up the morning of the 6th ON A MISSION! I spent almost the whole day on the exercise ball, and with a last leap of faith, we tried nipple stimulation. Boy did that skyrocket me into labor. I bounced through contractions for an hour, then told daddy it was GO TIME! The car was already packed, and our babysitter was here, so we ran out and headed to the hospital. I was still unsure if it was real labor because I had been having contractions for so long, but once I had to sit still in the car, I knew for sure, and hubby knew. He placed his hand on my belly and prayed for our delivery right as we pulled up to the hospital.

The nurses had just seen me before so they knew me, and got me all set up. I was hoping I would be complete when they checked me, like with Brevin, but I was only at 4. She said she would check me again in an hour, and if I was progressing, we could have her. I knew I was progressing, because by now, my contractions were taking my breath away. I talked to my family to take my mind off of them, and sure enough, she checked me and I was at FIVE! Hallelujah! It was time to meet our baby girl!!!!

I kept telling all my nurses how fast my labors were and that they needed to keep checking me but they just went about their business and moved SLOW. I looked at hubby and asked him if he would judge me if I got an epidural. I told him I just wanted to enjoy my last labor ever, because I'd already done the natural thing twice. He laughed and said I could do whatever I wanted, so I requested an epidural.

For what seemed like HOURS I labored through the worst contractions I've ever had. The doctor on call (Same on that delivered Brevin) broke my waters, and I really started feeling them. I kept asking where the anesthesiologist was, and the nurse kept reassuring me that he was coming. By now I was getting a contraction every 30 seconds. FINALLY, he came. As he was placing the needle in my back, I felt it, BOOM! Baby dropped, and it was time to push. I moved, but everyone held me still, I had no choice but to wait until he was done.

As soon as he finished, I told the nurse to check me. I couldn't even lie flat on my back. She checked me as I was sitting up, and as soon as she did, she reached over and pressed the call button. I told Brendan..."her head is right there" and the nurse looked at me like "crap" of course she told me not to push, and I said "IM PUSHING DAMNIT" Doctor Gordon got there just in time, and in two pushes, out came our sweet girl.

We all held our breath to wait for her cry, and there it was. The most beautiful sound. I waited for him to say "It's a girl" and then I started breathing again. They placed her on my chest and I just couldn't stop looking at her! She was HERE!!!! By the way, the only thing that was numb was my big toe! But it didn't matter!

That whole first day I couldn't stop staring at her. I just couldn't believe it. I put on her first bow,and I almost died. I changed her diaper and was still in disbelief that there wasn't a penis there.

Here we are 5 months later and nothing much has changed. She's definitely the star of the show. She has to be the easiest baby there ever were, and we are all smitten. If you haven't seen her birth video, here is a link to it.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Is this real life?

Well hello, little abandoned blog of mine. For shame.
I always have the best intentions of blogging, I even do posts in my head, and never find the time to actually sit down and do them.
Right now, the most important thing in my life is sleep.
No but I'm serious. Without the proper amount of rest, I am just physically, and mentally not my best.

As is the truth for every human being. Rest is so very important for our overall health. My goal for this year was only to continue on the path of becoming the person that I am meant to be.
A WHOLE person. Physically, mentally, spiritually rounded, and I am continuing on that path. One day I'll blog about my fitness, and how I lost almost 40 lbs in less than a year, and one day I will find the strength to blog about how I have learned to overcome negative people in my life, and yes, one day I will finally finish our Disney vacation, but today is NOT that day.

Today, I will blog about my DAUGHTER!

Wait, WHAT?!

To even say that, is completely, foreign to me. Daughter. Baby girl. Female. PINK!

I guess I'd have to start back when we found out Brevin was a boy. Because of how he came into this world I think, I was ecstatic to have another son. His little life was almost gone in a matter of minutes. I was so grateful that I had a HEALTHY tiny baby. Who cares about gender? Seriously?

My heart was content, especially following that emergency c section, and everything that came with it. I was of course open to have more babies, but I knew in my heart that I was done.

B and I talked about it, just to keep it on the table, because, come on, I was 26 years old, in ridiculously good shape (yes, toot, toot), and we had always talked about having 5-7 kidlets. We have always just wanted a big family. Something we agreed on before he even proposed marriage.
We agreed that if we were to have another baby, I would get my mirena taken out in December or January, and if I was not pregnant before Brendans 30th birthday this April, Brendan would go ahead and get a vasectomy. Done deal.
Easy cheesy.

As more time passed, I realized that I was NOT ready to be pregnant again. I wanted to wear bikinis this summer, and go zip lining, and ride roller coasters, and do the tough mudder marathon, and the list goes on.

I loved our even number of our family of 6. I daydreamed of us going to amusement parks and having a perfect number for each of us to have a roller coaster buddy. Or splitting up into two teams for a family game of basketball or touch football. Each boy had a buddy, and it would be perfect!

I decided it in my mind, and gave away every single piece of maternity clothing I owned, even bigger clothes that weren't maternity, but clothes I had never planned on wearing again, because I planned on just getting smaller! HOLLA! I gave away all my baby boy clothes that Brevy had outgrown to my friend expecting her baby boy, and I was on a mission to be the most fit mom of 4 boys that there ever were.

In November, I had ovarian cyst issues which landed me an extensive stay on the good old couch until they ruptured or went away. I was MISERABLE! I got an ultrasound at the hospital, where the ultrasound tech saw my mirena, and also my 2 large cysts on my ovaries.

After they ruptured, we got back to normal life. And all the things that come with that. Ahem. We also took precautionary measures, ahem, because I had a yeast infection. I'm not going to go into details butchuknowhatimtawknbout.
So anyways, one December morning, the 21st of December, to be exact, I was just chillin, eating breakfast, talking to my kids, and I felt it. The vomit. I ran to the bathroom, and in true movie fashion, I threw up. Immediately, I grabbed my phone and went to my period tracker app. 4 days late.
I knew I had mirena, so I didn't quite freak out THAT bad, because periods can be irregular, and I was also still breastfeeding, so I calmly text my sister and asked her to go get me a pregnancy test. After her doing back flips, she came over, eager for me to test. I had already peed in a cup, so I dipped the test and put it on the counter. I didn't even have time to think. It was POSITIVE.
But. But.. But... I'm on mirena.. and we were careful. And I'm still breastfeeding. And... WHAT?
After I got off the bathroom floor, where I laid for a few minutes, I text some friends and asked what I should do. All of them agreed that false positives don't exist, and that I was probably pregnant.
Crap. What was B going to say? We JUST said we were done having kids. I mean he had already found a urologist! I guess I forgot the man I married for a split second, after I called him, he text me after he had time to think and said "It's because you're so damn fine" My husband, ladies and gents.
We agreed we would go to the hospital, to make sure it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy, because that was my number one fear. We were in so much shock, that after I took the urine test at the hospital, when the nurse left, she said "congratulations" and we were like "tthaaankkk yoouu??" we were just confused. How does this even happen?
The ultrasound confirmed nothing. They could not see a baby. But guess what they also couldn't see? MY MIRENA. Yep. It was gone. Vanished. Disappeared.
The doctor also said that my HCG was dangerously low, and that I was probably going to have a miscarriage, or maybe not, and that the baby could possibly be in my tubes, but they weren't sure -___-  We went home even more confused than when we went.
I wasn't starting to get sick yet, I just felt kinda off, so I had no idea what was going on. We still told a few close people, and my mother of course, but we wanted everyone to just pray for us.
I ended up going back to the hospital because I had some bad pain, and they told me to come back if I had pain. I still thought the baby was in my tubes.
This time on ultrasound, they saw the baby, but the heart rate was only 90.
Again, they feared miscarriage. I was so discouraged at this point. I don't know why, but I just thought the baby was not going to make it. And I was confused, because I thought I didn't want a baby, but I guess I did.
My aunt, aka my life coach, aka my everything, text me a prayer, and immediately told me some supplements to rush order (black haw and progesterone) and I felt at ease. If she believed in this tiny baby, why couldn't I, too?
The supplements came in, I took them, and waited for my first OB appt. They rushed me in for an ultrasound, and the technician almost giggled, because the baby's heart rate was so strong.
We felt so much better, and wrapped our minds around having another baby. Once we started telling people of course everyone said "OH ITS A GIRL" Like no one had a doubt. Except a few haters. Cough cough.
I had ZERO intuition. Like I always don't. Since I had planned a big surprise anniversary trip to Las Vegas, I figured why not surprise him with the gender of the baby while we were there as well. I knew I could get the chromosome screening done at 10 weeks, so after finding out my insurance would cover it, I went and got the blood test done. That was the Wednesday before we left for Vegas. I skipped out of there thinking I would find out before our actual anniversary that coming Tuesday, then my nurse told me it took TWO WEEKS!
TWO WEEKS?! I honestly had such an amazing time in Vegas with Brendan, that we totally forgot all about it (I ended up telling him since we wouldn't find out before our anniversary). We got back that Tuesday night, and I waited until that Friday to call, just to see if the results were maybe in. My sweet nurse told me that they would probably be in by Monday, and to call back then.
Monday morning, I actually forgot. I was finishing up a birthday cake for my friends daughter, and I remembered. I was so scared to make that call.
What if it was another boy?!
Well, great! 5 boys! It IS all we know, after all. I mean, a girl would be WEIRD. And we'd have to change things, and do stuff, and prepare! Ha! But what if it was a girl? Just maybe? WHAT IF ITS A GIRL? But it's not, I can't have girls. Like I'm pretty sure my uterus has a mustache(stole that from another blogger) But seriously, I pop out boys. That's just what I do. Beautiful boys is my business, and business is GOOD!
Shaking, I called, and left a message. She called me back literally two minutes later. She started with "Told ya the results would be in! I'm assuming you called to find out gender, right?" I yelled "WAIT WAIT WAIT I'M NOT READY!!"
I had to breathe. I was shaking, and I had a piping bag in my hand. I started back piping on the cake and she said "Okay, well what do you WANT it to be?" I whispered " a giiirrrlll?"
And then she said 5 words that I have repeated in my head over and over again a billion times "YOU'RE HAVING A BABY GIRL!" I said "SHUT UP!!!!" I didn't know what to do. I swear my eyes went crossed, and I couldn't even focus. I started making eggs while she was kids weren't even awake yet.. and I was making breakfast lol. She told me that the rest of tests came back low risk for chromosomal abnormalities, and that I had a healthy BABY GIRL!
She could not stop laughing at me because she knows me well enough to know I was freaking the freak out. She said see you next Monday, and told me congratulations, and we hung up. I walked around my kitchen island a few times, sent out a shaky text to my friend Tasha that I was already texting "My nurse just called me, we are having a GIRL" My phone rang so fast, and she called me crying. We have the same due date, and she was telling me how big of a blessing it was, and it just still wasn't sinking in. OMG. I hadn't told B yet. After crying a bit with her, we hung up, and I ran and LEAPED on top of him.
He was half asleep. "BABBBEEE!!!" I yelled. "Yes" he said through one eye squinted. "WE ARE HAVING A GIRLLLLL"
He gave me the biggest smile his sleepy face could fit, and gave me the stinkiest morning kiss, and said "That's amazing babe." and then I leaped off of him and told him to go back to bed.
I know he probably felt like it was all a dream. I text all my friends, I just couldn't hold it in. Brendan had really wanted to do a gender reveal party, but I ruined all the chances of that in less than 10 minutes. I was just freaking out. My friend Melissa came over to pick up the cake, and couldn't even focus. She ran in the house and grabbed me and we squealed like teenagers. Her husband came and told me congratulations and had the BIGGEST smile!
On the way to the party, Brendan kept saying.. "wait, like, are we awake? Is this real? NOT a dream?" I was like, "I mean I've been slapping myself all morning so I guess not!"
We are having a daughter you guys. I know this post got lengthy, so I will end it here. I will have to gather the rest of my thoughts and write about what having a little girl means to this mama, who was totally prepared to be a boy mom forever.
Thank you every single person who has shared in our excitement! It has meant more than you know, and also kind of helped us realize that this is actually real.
A baby girl! What do we do?!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bundle of Banks do Disney, AGAIN!!! Part 4



Ah ha! Told yall I was gonna finish my Disney posts this year.. but omg this is day 1 of 7!! Bahahaahaha!!

We spent our first Day at Magic Kingdom. Last year, we had Mickey ears on our shirt wearing a Saints hat,

so this year, we had a Mickey Fleur de Lis, that said “Geauxin to see dat mouse”


Riding the bus!


Me and Megs. I love her!


We went straight to see Mickey! Brevin actually LOVES mickey mouse! He can be so upset, but as soon as he hears Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he starts smiling automatically.

This year, the Mickey actually talked. It was so cool!



We had lunch reservations at Cinderella's Palace! We had two sleeping kiddos and thought it was hilarious.


This was the view from the back of Cinderella's Castle. And, oh yeah, food!

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the dining plan!?!



All the princesses made their way around. The boys knew like none of them, oops.

Btw my camera died, so I had to use my backup that I pretty much only use for video. I was not happy. But the picks came out ok.


The food was delicious and the castle was gorgeous. We also got lots of souvenirs.

When we first came in, we took picks with Cinderella, and they gave us framed and printed pictures, as well as swords for the boys.





We were joking that since I was pregnant at Disney last year, it was Brendan's turn.



We rode everything we didn’t ride last year, thanks to our fast passes!





I LOVE the Disney parades!



When we got back, there was gift number 2 from Disney, toys for each boy, and Lightning McQueen cookies!



Next up, Animal Kingdom!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


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Monday, October 13, 2014


GUYS! IM SO EXCITED!! I have finally gotten all of my sponsors info and am so happy to share details with you finally!!
I wanted to do a "makeover" themed giveaway.
It OFFICIALLY opens tomorrow! Check back on the blog to see how to enter!
You can get a head start by following/subscribing to all of the social media sites!
Go! Yippee!!

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