You will get there, Mama

you will get there

I wanted my first post to be about my birth, but that is taking a little bit longer to put my thoughts together, Not to mention my editor (Mrs. Tague) is a busy woman teaching 11th grade English and I know she is grading about 200 papers a week. I will share my birth story and I can gladly wait, because I want it to be a perfect description of just how beautiful and not so beautiful my birth really was.

I suppose I’m just going to start putting myself out there, in the sense of where I’m struggling and also doing really well. I love talking about this mom thing that about half the population is currently trying to figure out. Honestly though, I don’t think mothering or parenting is something that you ever completely figure out. I will proudly share that I have my baby on a great schedule and he’s finally giving me 4-5 hours of sleep at night. That is a true accomplishment,no really it is.

With a sleep schedule in order, I still however find something everyday in my life that is not in order. Here I sit still mindfully frustrated that I weigh less than I did before I entered pregnant life, and yet I still don’t like my body. I should mention that I used to prance around in a swimsuit all the time between the lovely ages of 16-19, but I have no intention of doing that now! I don’t even want to wear a swimsuit, I just wanna wear a high waisted skirt and not worry if it will fit my squishy belly. My mind is all over the place and here is why: The beginning of every week I tell myself I’m going to eat better and although I’m dying for that flat tummy, I also wanted ice cream last night when my husband told me it was on sale. I excitedly told him to send me a picture of what was on sale, he sends the picture and I, sure enough get angry and tell him, “Ahhhh! I don’t need to eat this”. Why was I mad at him? Partially because there was so many choices and partially because he told me ice cream was on sale. Not to mention my husband left the ironing board out and in my way in our room and I passive aggressively took it and Set it right in front of his desk (Yes I’m that girl). I was mad, not just because I wanted the ice cream and I know I shouldn’t eat it, or because the ironing board was in my way, but because so many things are in disarray in my life and I’m trying to calmly as possible keep it together. I was so annoyed that I had to find something that I could control. I laid EJ down to sleep and then, like a mad-woman, I made my bed as if I was expecting an A+ in bed-making skills. I looked at my bed took a deep breath in and then out and two seconds later I got in it to sleep. I need to have control of something. This is what my mind is constantly thinking, “What can I control?”

Complaining about life and the things it throws at me has put me in an almost constant state of frustration, and pity and I hate it. I know a lot of postpartum mamas’ struggle with this, I know I’m not alone. I wonder if I will get to a point where I’m not finding myself always so frustrated or indecisive. Maybe the only thing I have control of right now in my life is making sure my bed is made and my baby stays on schedule, and maybe I don’t quite fit into the high waisted skirt that I’ve been dying to wear since I bought it and then found I was pregnant, but I’ll get there. And I don’t need the ice cream, but I’m going to eat it, because I’m a mom and my husband bought it anyway and tells me my body is beautiful. And maybe my body is beautiful, shoot I’m 20 weeks out from having a baby and I feel great. So for now, all is well. I don’t need a perfect life, or perfect body just a good life and a healthy body. I need a life where I rely on God for my joy and not a single thing of this world. I need a life knowing I’m doing a good job raising my son and teaching him how to be a good and loving person. I need a life where I don’t push people away. And most importantly, I need a life where I love myself and every stage it brings me through. Maybe I am there, maybe the moments, good and not so good, are where I am suppose to be.

20 weeks pregnant, 40 weeks pregnant, 20 weeks postpartum (with cute baby)
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In waiting: part 1

I’m still here, but not there; there as in the trance of bent necks and unblinking eyes upon things that are often unattainable. For sometime now I have been on a needed “break” from the social media mayhem that often made me wonder and question myself “if I could only…” you could fill in that blank with anything really but for me it was usually thoughts along the line of: buy a house, get a new car, get more sleep, get my child to sleep, have a garden, paint the walls, hang canvases, lose weight, have my own business, make my own coffee table…all random but true thoughts. Not impossible things to have in life, just things that would pop into my mind the moment I would scroll past them on my phone, things that are just not attainable at this time in my life. I believe all of these things I wish to do would honestly bring me happiness, but they would eventually fade and I would search for the new task or the next best thing. The truth of it all, I was seeking to do things that would never truly bring me lasting joy, possibly short time happiness, but nothing compared to a joy that does not spring up from the world we live in. So, for some time and possibly for a bit longer, I decided to remove myself for a bit, so I could collect my whole self again. So I could find myself making time for a deeper prayer life and also find pure joy in everything I have, whether it be much or not.

*I highly advise this social media fast to anyone struggling with feeling like a zombie in the social world, especially new moms, or perhaps really anyone who thinks any less of them self than they should because of something they have seen/continue to see on social media.*

What ultimately brought me to this point has been our current situation. For over a year we’ve been in a season of waiting, though not always blatantly patient (me), definitely with faith(my husband) that God ultimately had a plan ahead. A plan so perfect that first he had to teach us true patience and show us just how beautiful life is even in the most difficult of situations. For the past several months we have had faith; while sometimes the smallest faith, yet still faith, without knowing what was ahead of us.

If you have never experience what I’m about to say, this may be something not worth your while to read, if you have you may possibly relate or even more so think to yourself “wow she hit the nail on the head”. Fact: Patience is a complicated word to swallow. Ahh yes, the lovely word that I have on repeat in my mind when my heart begins to race and I close my eyes tight for a moment of relief. I honestly have hated this word more than I have hated any word in my entire life, but I’m coming around to it and it’s meaning. Patience…It’s often said and thrown around by those who more than likely don’t have any idea about it and it’s prayed upon people who are surrounded by unfortunate circumstances, it is extremely often you will hear “just be patient, everything will work out in God’s perfect timing” tired of hearing that phrase yet? I know I was. If I’m honest, sometimes it still makes me want to scream into a pillow. Frequently hearing “be patient” mostly made me want to scream and go off on tangent this “patience” was and still is currently making me suffer from. So I get it, honestly I finally get it. I am there. I have been here for a while. Truth be told; I am living in a one bedroom with 3 people for almost a year now. Half my life is in storage. Many of what used to be my everyday belongings have now become a waste of space. My library. My crafts. My pictures. My favorite pan to cook with, all in storage and I have let it absolutely drive me nuts. Here’s the thing though, it is all just stuff, mostly meaningless especially when you look at it in the sense of “when I die, will any of this matter”. Really though it’s biblical, Things of this world will all pass away someday, so I have certainly learned not to become so attached to stuff. So trust me when I say: I. GET. IT. Everything I was used to doing, out the window and put on hold because God wanted to teach me an extremely important lesson about learning the true meaning of patience and what He has decided was the best remedy for my privileged, “I’m too good for this” attitude.

In this time of waiting and figuring out the true meaning of patience, mostly in the past but still sometimes sneaking up on me, I have come off as mean and rude. I have thrown fits, and cried my eyes out. I have found myself suffering from significant bouts of anxiety and sleep deprivation and no I don’t think God is punishing me, but I do think he was giving me time and allowing me to learn how to react wisely when difficult situations arise. I do think He was trying to prove to me that life is not just about me, but about others and what I can do in my life to help those who have a deeper need than mine. My difficulties are becoming my testimony. I see other people struggle and I can relate to them and them to me and that is a really beautiful testament of never being alone in life. Having to be patient is hard enough, but having to be patient alone with no one to turn to is so much more difficult on the journey. I found that when I started to act different and think different. God began to show us that our lesson would never be completed until we learned to act accordingly in His will. It does not work in anyone’s favor to be a in a constant state of self pity. If by now you have not learned to be calm and trusting, and your spirit is not constant through difficult seasons, you probably have not truly learned to be patient. True Patience is proven to bring you to the lowest points in your life that you never think you will see, but yet you arrive there and find that you have kept your joy and composure, relying completely on God through the situation.

I hope I’m am coming across as understandable. I hope this is relatable and thought provoking, because this lesson of patience is so important for everyone. I don’t want to make it seem as If I have it all figured out perfectly, but more so as if We as a family are always working to better ourselves and serve our God wholeheartedly. These last few months God has moved mountains and I mean literally, turned momentous situations into miracles and I am beyond amazed and grateful, but even more so overjoyed with how God always maps everything out so precisely. He is preparing us for something and I am at a loss to what it is, but I am enjoying the surprises and taking on the lessons with all the strength I can muster. For the time being I am doing my best to enjoy every moment. I take my time, have meaningful conversations, and enjoying the every day, normal moments I have with my family.

In this time, I want to be as close to God and my family as possible. I want to write so much more than I ever have. I want to read books and watch a series on Netflix (things I haven’t done in forever because I sat and suffered in my pity) and more than anything I want to dive deep into what God really has planned. I want to read his word consistently and pray more than I ever have. With all that God is about to do, I’m trusting that removing social media for some time has and will best prepare me for the continual miracles God has in store. I don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but I know it will all be beautiful, even if it’s messy and even if it’s hard, it will be worth it to have a clear mind and spirit away from the unproductive trap of social media that distracts me the most and away from the social media that makes me think any less of myself. I want to make it clear that I am not trying to belittle or degrade anyone who uses social media, because it is absolutely wonderful and so much fun, I am just sharing what has worked best for me. On a journey to find peace and joy; in real life.

First photo is a portrait taken by my husband a few days after I started my social media hiatus.

Second photo is by the wonderful Paulina Spletcha Photography

*Follow me on my blog The indecisive Momicles if you enjoy my writing.

*I am avoiding my most used social media for however long I feel fit, I will pop on and off occasionally, but will continue using Messenger as well as email for anyone who needs to contact me.

*For now: I’m avoiding Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

14 months and counting

Did you really think I would let World breastfeeding week go by and not post about it…so close guys, but I’m so here for this. I’m Breastfeeding as we speak. I want to really talk about why this has been so important for me as a person, not just as woman or a mom but truly what it has done for my sanity.

EJ has never exclusively breastfed. From day one up until he was 9 weeks old I mostly pumped and fed him and if I was too tired to wake up and pump, My husband would feed him formula. EJ just wouldn’t latch and it broke me so much. Those were the most difficult and longest days of my life. I honestly never saw a light at the end of the tunnel and thought I was never going to make it to where we are today with our breastfeeding relationship. But here we are, he’s still breastfeeding by the way. He’s so happy and he’s almost asleep and just before he knocks out he will unlatch and nuzzle my neck and this is my whole world and honestly it still makes my heart skip a beat, but at the same time gives me such a sense of calm.

Life with EJ is not easy, this is not a complaint, but instead a blessing of patience. Becoming parents we (as in my husband and myself) have had many bumps in the road that have caused me to develop anxiety, something I’ve never had to deal with or at least not that I remember. Breastfeeding this little boy has been my remedy to anxiety, my reassurance and my way of coping with frustrating situations I could or can not change. I’ve discussed before how EJ wasn’t really planned and he honestly was not what we were planning for so soon in our marriage, but again he still is the biggest blessing in our lives and every thing about his little life has turned me into someone to just sit and be content in the moment; let it be know that this did not just happen over night, it was many of sleepless nights and painful cries to my husband that my nipples were in so much pain. Just know there certainly was a light, a very bright and beautiful light.

Ej is a strong willed, smart and happy baby, and so when he is ready to be done with mama’s milk I’m positive he will make it very clear. I have been blessed to have plenty of help, encouragement and support along the way and here we are; EJ will be 15 months old and is still breastfeeding when he wants to and no weaning in site and I am 100% really happy that he wants to continue. Do you see where I’m going with this? He is keeping me patient and I’m pretty sure there is some connection there that he is very aware of. I don’t think that I’m spoiling him, if anything I’m giving him all the antibodies and continued nutrients he needs to be smart and healthy.

Breastfeeding has never been a show for me, but it has been a fight and my way of standing up to what I believe in. Although I’m sure many people have thought that because I discuss it so much, I’m either annoying or overbearing, but I do so because people, women and men too need to know about it’s beautiful benefits. People need to know why it’s normal, they need to know why you should NEVER, EVER shame a women for breastfeeding in public, because we work too dang hard to get it right. To the Mamas’ Cherish your breastfeeding relationships with your baby and to society; love on those new mamas who push through and fight to breastfeed their babies no matter how short or long they decide to do so.

Next ones and imaginary biological clocks

Y’all, I have some decent information, it is real good and I promise everyone may benefit from reading this. (NOT PREGNANT)

If someone has recently found out your age and has declared anything about when and if you should have children sooner or later than you plan or may not even ever plan to, and they seem to be concerned about some imaginary clock, please know their opinion has no business about when and if you ever plan on having a child(ren). I hear this more than I ever want to, it honestly astonishes me that random people actually say this to women and men they hardly know and expect answers and timelines.

Example from the other day from a random co-worker: “So when’s the next one?…the clock is ticking”

*Blank stare and awkward laugh*

“Uhh I’m really happy with just my one”

*half smile and Quickly walk away*

*Actual thoughts* Wait. what?…the next one? What about the one I have now? What’s wrong with the perfectly healthy, rambunctious, walking, almost talking, verge of genius baby I have now! He’s great! He’s actually perfect and everything I’ve ever wanted in a child.

Why are people so concerned with the next one? Can they not be happy with the one I have now. What if there is no next one? What if I’m done?…can I be done having children and not be shamed for it? The answer to these ‘none of your business questions for many is: Apparently not.

Just some advice to those in waiting or feeling like they are “running out of time”: If you’re married and living life and getting good sleep without children 5 years after being married, continue to live it up. And if you’ve been trying to have a baby for those past 5 years and are tired of hearing someone says “your biological time clock is ticking” Let them know life is good right where you are at and will have a child when the time is right. And to the person who thinks it’s okay to comment about a person you just met needing to have a child and you don’t know a lick about their reproductive challenges or trials: Please Mind your own business!

The only clock that’s ticking is the imaginary one that’s been ingrained in our brains that we must have things done by a certain time in our lives. We don’t. Honestly, God’s timing thus far in my life has been outstanding. In the moment things were happening I probably could of begged to differ, but when I look back, timing has always been perfect. So please for your sanity’s sake, avoid putting timelines on your lives. Have a kid at 40. Buy a house at 20. Travel throughout your 30s. If you have kids right after marriage and you’re happy; great! If you have no kids and still don’t want kids 5, 10, even 15 years after marriage; that’s also great. Do what works. Stop comparing and live life according to what God already has mapped out. Your trials are your tests and your triumphs are you rewards. Everything works out and to be honest having a kid is like riding a unicycle, blind folded with two left feet.

So in all hopes that I’ve got my point across, I’m Off to bed with a toddler who lets me sleep in the big bed with him.

I have learned: a list of messy thoughts

How can I say this without sounding selfish, but still try to explain how I feel honestly, I have learned that I probably can’t. Opinions matter, but only when asked. I may sound selfish no matter what I say, but if I’m not being honest, then I’m not being myself. Once pregnant, but before EJ arrived, I often wondered: Why a baby now? Are we really ready? As a person who lives for making lists and planning, a baby was just not what we were planning, but of course God had a plan and as usual, all worked out perfectly and accordingly to God’s will. Am I happy that EJ came when he did: of course and I know he is the absolute biggest blessing to our lives. I examine my life now and try to pinpoint where a change could of been made and I find no time where anything could of panned out differently. EJ was not planned, but the day I found out he was growing in me, I easily fell in love and quickly learned that any plans We had before knowing about him, were now pushed out of our minds because we were going to welcome a new life into the world. I learned that even though We did not feel ready God was going to prepare us. I learned over time, that My baby was going to break me, but heal me in other areas of life. From the moment EJ was born I have learned a ton of useful information…but beside information I’ve learned a whole new love. EJ has been my saving grace, a reality check and call to persevere patience in all areas of my life.

Since having EJ:

I have learned to go with the flow. Try to nap when the he naps even into the toddler years. Let him cry for a little bit, but not too long. I’ve learned that sometimes I have to use tv to distract him, while I put away the mounds of laundry before he knocks it over. I’ve learned that my baby needs me and still desires my milk and that there is no timeline for breastfeeding or a perfect time to wean.

I’ve learned to wear a bun a few days in a row, re-pin as needed and tie back parts of my hair I can’t control (mom buns for life). I’ve learned to take a 2 minute shower. And I’ve learned to accept my body for what it is now, and respect all that it has done and continues to do. I’ve learned that my body is capable of many things, and the things it is not capable of right now, can be fixed. I’ve learned that I was born with a tailbone defect and that was the reason my baby had to be born via belly birth. I learned that enduring a 40 hour labored and being stuck in transition, and then having to still have a c-section does not make me any less of a mom.

I’ve learned to write down weekly/monthly budgets. I’ve learned to meal plan and Grocery shop for a weeks worth of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (with a few meals and coffees out). I’ve learned that you can make food go a long way…and to not be wasteful.

I’ve learned that I am still young. I’ve learned that I can still imagine, create, plan the future, and not be too closed minded. I’ve learned that money and possessions have purpose and do matter, but not nearly as much as my time and precious moments with my family do.

I’ve learned to breathe and close my eyes on long days and put my phone down and play with my child, rather than scroll Instagram or Pinterest. I’ve learned to come at potential opportunities with caution. I’ve learned to accept that not all things that seem perfect are actually perfect. I’ve learned that when the time is right, God will give us the desires of our hearts and I’ve learned that my desires, while important, are not life and death. And I’ve learned that life is absolutely what you make it.

I’ve learned that as time goes on, I must plan, but also have days where I wing it. I hope to always be open minded, willing and adjustable to whatever life brings to the table.

I’ve learned that minimalism of not only the space you live in, but of the heart and mind can be a remedy for feeling like you’re stuck and cramped.

I’ve learned that I am exactly where I should be and I’ve learned that God is preparing me to tell of a very brave and unique testimony of patience and perseverance, mostly thanks to a little boy I was never ready for, but nonetheless needed anyway.

Here

I have been here before. Not a lifetime worth and possibly not for much longer, but I wonder how many more. This very moment I find familiarity in. I find space and I find beauty, but this is still new. Each night is different. Will my baby fall asleep quickly or will he find things to distract himself while he nurses.

This place is still new. This place brings me peace and hope, but here This place gives me comfort.

This place will not last long.

This place, where my child rests his head in my arms and touches my face with his tiny little hands, is a second in time compared to what the remainder of his life will become.

This place has me torn. It has me begging to last forever yet, praying sleep comes quickly. Where is my time going anyway, to make breakfast for the next morning or to make sure the floor is swept.

I don’t always, but sometimes ask myself: What is important? What makes my heart swell? What moves me to be the best version of myself? Feeling needed. I say I want rest, but I desire being needed. Even without thanks and even without recognition. Being needed is a blessing and while sometimes in disguise, a blessing you will look back on to appreciate. Here is the days that seem to never end. Here is safe. Here I can still recuperate. Here you can find me being who I was always meant to be.

I can not choose the side that breaks my heart

I don’t let more than 5 seconds go by once I even hear the faintest cry come from my child. And for anyone who wants to shame that, please by all means, go ahead! Please take your precious time to criticize a first time mom’s choice to run to her child when she hears his cry. Here is some more things I do; My baby reaches for me and I immediately pick him up. He points at my chest and I immediately tend to his want of milk (wean who). My child hears something and looks at me and with the most adorable wonder and says “dat” meaning “what’s that” and I tell him. I’m wrapped around his finger. And for now I am perfectly content with our relationship. I’m sure many moms, all over the world, probably feel the same way.

I laid my baby in bed tonight and he rolled over, peaceful and maybe not fully aware, but possibly somewhat aware that he is certainly loved and protected. He does not have to fear for lack of food nor protection. He does not have to fear that at any moment of his life he will be removed from all he has ever known. He does not have to fear that his life could be completely and totally turned upside down. He does not have to fear for his life. He does not have to fear that I or his dad will be taken away from him. He does not have to fear that at anytime he is sad, hurt, sick, hungry, or needs soothing that I won’t be there to immediately take him and give him whatever he may need. The privilege of that American life. I am thankful for my immigrant grandparents who decided to do as so many have done and come to America for a better life and because of that, my child will never have to worry about seeking refuge or wondering why he can’t be with his family. While yes, I understand protecting our boarders and our people, I don’t understand separation of families who seek refuge out of pure fear for their lives. I don’t understand what there is to hide. I don’t understand people with lack of compassion. I don’t understand separating a breastfeeding mother from her infant who fully relies on her. I don’t understand it and I refuse to accept it as “zero tolerance” but more so ignorance and too many people with an abundant amount of privilege who JUST DON’T CARE BECAUSE THEY GET TO GO HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES AT NIGHT. I promise, I really do understand protecting America, but I do not understand mentally and emotionally destroying children…babies by removing them from all that they know. All they understand is finding comfort in the people that make them feel safe and loved and all their parents are trying to do is keep them protected because they love them. I am so stuck. I want to choose a side of the fence, but as a mother, I can not choose the side that breaks my heart. I honestly can not put myself in the position of a mother having her child(ren) taken and not knowing where they are going, how long it would be until I saw them, and if I would even ever get to see them again. So I want to ask, can you imagine it? Can you remove yourself from your political party and just for a moment, put yourself in this position of a motherless mother or fatherless father?

I’m not trying to argue, trust me…don’t argue with me (I will honestly ignore you) or like I said choose sides, but I am asking God for understanding for myself and protection and peace for broken families. My prayer tonight is that the unheard, looked down on, immigrant families find eventual peace and comfort. Relief and joy. Love and reunion. Safety and home.

Kicking and screaming

Before you read on, please remember I learn as I go and I write as EJ grow’s. Right now I’m diving deeper into motherhood and it is quite the unplanned adventure. I don’t have this all figured out, and maybe you do. Or maybe you’re not a parent and you relentlessly protest that “my child will never do x, y, and z”. I want to give you a little pre-warning; Inevitably, your child will do exactly as you said they would never do, all while you sit there and wonder where you went wrong. Truth is, you didn’t go wrong, you’re just up against a very determined and strong willed little person, who rules everything about your life. I promised my child would never scream like a maniac in a public place, yet here we are, maniac child screams for no good reason, except to just hear his own voice since he recently discovered it. Not to mention the ongoing and unsoothable (new word for the mom dictionary) cries because he has four…yes you read that correctly, FOUR molars coming in basically all at once, but also more so one after another so it prolongs the sleepless nights and temper tantrums…so he is not exactly always in the best spirits as I portray. He tries though, even when his teeth are bothering him, he will clap his hands to “if you’re happy and you know” all the while crying his eyes out…he usually is pretty happy and I will boast tremendously about his happy self because he is a great happy baby, but can also be a monstrous angry or tired baby. What you don’t always see is the times that he is giving me a hard time, throwing his food, pulling on my clothes, slapping me in the chest because all he wants to do is comfort nurse. He is strict and enjoys his routine and prefers just mommy and EJ time once his bath time is done with Dada. I can’t let this kid miss his prime bed time, Once 8pm comes and goes and the kid is not ready for bed, I’m done for. I usually have about 5 seconds to get him pajamaed up, boob in mouth or the hunger games start and I’m more than likely going to lose and by lose it means no sleep for me because then EJ becomes very awake and decides he wants to stay up all night and watch Little baby bum, because British animals singing is surprisingly so much better than sleep. (You’re laughing, but it’s true)

I’m warning you now, this ain’t nothin you can prepare your very organized and scheduled self for. Go ahead and think that…I’ll wait a few years until you pop one out and then slowly lose your mind over that first year. I write to vent and not in particular towards any one person, just to put it out there. If you relate, that’s great, let’s talk. If not that’s also great, but as hard as it seems, because trust me I did it, please don’t blatantly judge parents with your eye-rolls and fake smiles. We already get ordered around by miniature versions of ourselves, we don’t exactly need advice from a non-parent or your mom’s, grandmother’s sister. Much of EJ’s new antics make me almost want to sit at home all weekend long, I really have to push myself to venture outside of the house or beyond going to my moms or sister house to hang out. So If you see a parent with a child who is kicking and screaming for no good reason, try to help them, if you don’t feel comfortable helping, don’t silently judge them, because we can feel the stares, it almost stings. One day when you decide to create that big ole’ happy family, your own flesh and blood will come into your life and spend a perfect amount of time wrapping you around their sweet little fingers, just to turn around 12 months later and scream at your for taking away a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee straw that they almost choked on or bite your finger for trying to fish for dog food out of there mouth, just to later find it in their diaper. I can’t make this stuff up. One day it will all make sense to those who eventually become parents, and by “all” I mean nothing making sense whatsoever, absolutely nothing, but you may remember that time that someone told you that it will be okay and you will get through it. Us parents love encouragement just as much as we love to give it to our kids for learning to poop on the toilet, but we don’t appreciate unsolicited advice. As always to all the parents new and old who read my out loud thoughts and feel me, just know you’re still a good parent even if you don’t exactly feel like it and even if you have to rush out of a grocery store or church because your kid is loosing his mind. I love my kid, even when he’s kicking and screaming.