My Mom Life

After A Lent Promise: Nikki’s Fundraising Journey

This past lent season, Nikki set herself on a remarkable journey that I am truly grateful for. Nikki had made a promise to fundraise to help those who live with Liver Disease and those who take care of them. The best way she could think of raising money and have fun at the same time was by making rainbow loom bracelets. She decided she could sell them at $5 each with all proceeds going to the Canadian Liver Foundation. This little idea became so much more for me and my family that I had to share the journey.

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A Lent Promise: Changing The Way People See Liver Disease

Every story has a beginning and this one begins with a child’s lent promise to change the way people see liver disease.

Our family is no stranger to Liver Disease, particular with Wilson Disease and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Due to our direct connection to these diseases, we strive to help bring awareness to liver disease.  We have been involved and participated in various fundraising campaigns to raise much needed funds to support programs and research through the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF).

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Honoring A Shining Life: My Beloved Tia

A thought came to mind that it was time to call my Auntie Joana for our monthly chat. However, it wouldn’t be possible as calls are not made to heaven. The tears then start to build in my eyes and slowly trickly down my face.

On July 1st, 2022, my Tia (Aunt in Portuguese) went in peace surrounded by loved ones as she had her last breath on earth. She no longer had to suffer in pain as the cancer was only deteriorating her with each passing day. But her loss, has chocked me up inside.

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Another Family Milestone Achieved: Puppy Life To One Year Old

The beauty about life is the countless opportunities we have to learn from it and having a puppy provided so much growth for us all.

Tyson has taught us that love is truly unconditional and that we were missing a piece of our family puzzle which was him. With his quirky and big personality, he has brought great joy to our lives. The bond he has created with each of us individually and as a family has been remarkable!

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My Internal Struggle: Pressure And Expectations

Internal pressure to me is when we set our own expectations in our minds of what we think is needed from us. These expectations become pressures when we feel we are not meeting those expectations.

Being noted as “internal” means no one really sees what is brewing inside as on the surface it “looks” like we have it all together. BUT deep inside, the breaking point has almost arrived.

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Growing By Four Paws

When looking at expanding your life/family dynamics, there is so much to  think about and decide.  Any decision that affects daily life should be taken seriously and slowly. Well, that is how it works for me in my family. 😉

As many of our long time readers may remember our amazing cat Lily and how we lost her six years ago to cancer. For the longest time we never felt like it was the right time for us to bring in a furry family member. We honestly thought we couldn’t do it again as her loss was so devastating for us.

There is a saying, “Time heals almost everything. Give time time.” We felt this was the right time for our family to grow by four paws.

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One and Done: Our Family is Complete

A family is defined as a set of parents living with their children. The definition of family is the group of people who share common ancestors. Those are the definitions you can see in the dictionary but family is really up to personal interpretation.

To me a family is people who love each other unconditionally. It does not matter who makes up your family or how many are in it. At the end of the day, the love that is shared is what should matter most.

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7 Reasons Why I Love Girl’s Night

The day I became a mom, I knew that I would do everything and anything to be the best mom that I could be for her. From that day on, I spent many sleepless nights and days to make sure that she was very well taken care of. However, in the first three years, I was neglecting myself. During the transition into motherhood, I forgot about me as a person.

I thought that my job was to be with my child 24-7 and I shouldn’t think about having “me time.” I thought this would have been selfish (#momguilt) of me to even think that I deserved some time away as I should only focus on caring for my child. But soon I realized that I wasn’t good to anyone when I was feeling defeated and drained. I really needed some time away to re-focus and be me.

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Our First School Year Takeaways

Hard to believe that our first school year arrived so quickly and just as quick, it is done. It is hard not to get emotional as we reflect on our daughter’s first school year. I remember dropping her off at the first day of school and her politely asking me to leave while I held onto the lump in my throat. Then releasing all the tears as I entered my car alone and wondered the whole day on how she was doing. To the last day of school where everyone excitedly said good-bye as they get to experience their first official summer holidays.

It has been such a journey and we all grew so much in the time that we call “school year.” There are a few takeaways that I want to share that may help other new parents as they embark on school life for the first time.

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Fat Is The New F Word

Words that I never thought I would hear my four year old say. Words that shocked, stunned and hurt me all at the same time. I thought I had a few more years to worry about body image. Let’s face it many of us have gone through it or possibly still going through it. I know that I did in my teenage years. However, I was not prepared or expected this at age four.

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It Happened To Me | My Fatty Liver Journey

Featured in the Canadian Liver Foundation

A routine physical became more than I nervously anticipated as the doctor informed me that I had “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).”

As I saw the words come out from my doctor’s mouth, my mind starts racing with so many questions. How could this be? How did I let myself get to this point? Am I going to be okay?

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Christmas Magic In A Letter | The Belief In Santa

The Christmas season is upon us and it is my favorite time of year. It seems that there is a little extra magic in the air as the spirit of giving surrounds us.

My heart is always extra full this time of year as I try to make each year more magical then the next for my daughter. Part of the Christmas magic is the belief in Santa Claus. A jolly man who makes a list of who has been naughty and nice. Then travels all over the world to deliver toys to the nice kids on the list.

The excitement to write to Santa and to receive a letter back helps keep the belief alive and one that we have done yearly with our daughter, Nikki.

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I Survived My First Week of Kindergarten

After months of preparing myself mentally and physically for the beginning of Nikki’s first day and week of school. It appears that the heart still pulls all the weight no matter how much we think we are ready. I re-lived those sleepless nights with the anticipation of Nikki starting school. It all came down to this one day and wondering how Nikki will do.

So many questions went running through my head like will she make friends? Will she adjust? Will she cry?

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Knowing When Not To “Ovary” Step Your Boundaries

I started my blog almost three years ago and the driving factor was to inspire others’ through experiences that I share from my own life and from other amazing people. I always felt that we can learn so much from one another and it helps us empathize with the paths that people walk through.

Not one person lives the same life or has the same experiences as another. That is why it is important to create a community of understanding and support.

But it wasn’t until I got into the parenting world that I have seen another side of “human interest.”

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Getting Ready For My Kindergartener

Routine, learning and more growing is what to look forward to when your child starts school and it is one that we have been anticipating in our home. We are in full “Preparing for Kindergarten” mode!

I have officially registered Nikki for Kindergarten and here in Ontario, it is a full school day which is different from when I went to school. I only had to go for half a day which I do recall already being such a long day to be away from home. But I know that Nikki is going to love being away for the full day, especially with all the fun learning she will be doing.

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Slowly Finding The Balance As A Working Mom After A Year

Today marks a year since I have re-entered the workforce and it has been a slow transition in finding the balance between my full-time job, being a mom and being a blogger.

When I shared the news that I was re-entering the workforce, I was filled with array of emotions as I had no idea how I was going to manage and to boot entering a field that I have never been in before; the construction world.

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Heartfelt Thank You For The Honor From The 2017 Blogger of The Year

Exclusively in The Baby Spot

2017 has been an exciting year to say the least for me as Momma Braga with the amazing honor of being named the Blogger of the Year by the Baby Spot.

I was humbled by receiving this prestigious title by The Baby Spot as to me it was the highest honor. The Baby Spot does something much more different than the typical parenting magazines that you see out there. They provide fresh, unique and real parenting topics and stories from all over the world. It isn’t the fluffy stories about how to be the “Pinterest Mom” or  how we “should” be as parents. But instead they provide information, real experiences (without the sugar coating) and a supportive community where we can share our experiences in hopes that others can learn or be inspired by them. This is exactly the type of platform that I wanted to be part of and that is why the title meant the world to me.

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Swim With Santa Event Splashes With Joyous Spirit

We had the pleasure of attending the Swim with Santa event which was done by Aqua-Tots Swim School in Mississauga.

This was a member-exclusive event which was an all-ages and complimentary with the annual membership to the school. It is one of many great perks of registering at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools.

The event was on Saturday, December 2nd from 2pm to 4pm and we were excited to go, especially Nikki who just adores going to swim school.

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Ten Years After “I Do”

A happy marriage is about three things: memories of togetherness, forgiveness of mistakes and a promise to never give up on each other. – Surabhi Surendra

Today is a special day in my life as I celebrate my ten year wedding anniversary with my husband, Mike. My first reaction to the ten year mark is, “Wow, 10 years?!” It astonishes me how quickly the years have gone by and not only has it been ten years of marriage but we have been together for 17 years.

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Learning To Let Go

Before starting my new job I had the normal butterflies in my stomach as anyone would at the start of something new. My biggest worry wasn’t about how I was going to transition but how my daughter would be without me by her side during the day.

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Momma Braga’s First Work Week

“The beauty of working in a brand new field and job, is the opportunity to learn in leaps!” – Momma Braga

It has always been in our family plans that I would go back to work one day as a second income in our household can help us financially breathe a little easier. With my mom’s retirement this month and with her plans to take care of my daughter. It was time for this momma to re-enter the workforce.

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The Impact Of A Grandmother’s Love Lasts A Lifetime

Many grandmothers hold a special place in the hearts of their grandchildren as they provide so much of that extra love and attention that children adore. The connection between a grandmother and her grandchild can last a lifetime and that rings true with me.

A strong, fearless, happy, loving and a beautiful person who is always looking to help others is my definition of a heroine. These qualities are some that I admire in a person and growing up one woman encompassed all this and more. I called her Avó which means grandmother in Portuguese.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day moms of past, present and future!

Here I am on my second Mother’s Day and it feels great! Today is the day that we celebrate and appreciate moms for all that they do and are to us. Of course we should be appreciating our mothers every day but it can be hard to do. So today, is our friendly reminder to tell them how great and awesome they are!

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The Stay-At-Home and Working Mom Dynamic

Exclusively in The Baby Spot

Before becoming a mom I didn’t even know there were “mom groups”. I don’t mean the groups you can find on Facebook or at your local community centre. I mean the divide between stay-at-home moms (SAHM) and working moms.

This got me thinking…….How are my relationships with my working mom friends? Was it different? Was I treated differently as a SAHM? Did I treat them differently?

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An Average Day as Momma Braga Part III

Exclusively in The Baby Spot

Welcome to the day shift which is part III & last to the series of An Average Day as Momma Braga. Hope everyone has enjoyed this series so far!

My husband’s day shift is Monday to Friday from 6:00 AM to 2:20 PM which means the day starts really early for him (4 AM).

Our average day starts a bit early on this shift at 7:00 AM as our daughter notices that dada is no longer home. So we are off to start our morning routine.

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An Average Day as Momma Braga Part II

Exclusively in The Baby Spot

Welcome to the afternoon shift which is part II to the series of An Average Day as Momma Braga. Hope everyone enjoyed part I 🙂

My husband’s afternoon shift is one of my favourite shifts as its Monday to Friday from 2:20 pm to 10:40 pm.

Our average day starts at 8 am which in my world is the best time ever! At this time our morning routine is already in full swing. My husband takes on making the beds and getting our daughter all ready for the day. I take on the task of the kitchen.

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An Average Day as Momma Braga Part I

Exclusively in The Baby Spot

I am truly grateful and thankful for all my fans and supporters of Momma Braga. I truly enjoy writing and all of you have been so great to me – thank you!

So when I heard that I had an article request, I was extremely excited!

I have been asked to write about what an average day looks like in my life as a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) and my first thought was that there is no real average day as each day depends on my daughter and what work shift my husband is on. So I decided the best way to do this piece is to make it a three-part series on, An Average Day as Momma Braga.

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Transition from Workaholic to Stay-At-Home Mom

I was raised in a home where work ethic was very important and I held onto that mindset throughout my work history. I have always been known to work very hard and give 110% at every job that I had since I was 16 years of age. I never said, ‘no’, to working overtime, evenings or weekends. I had jobs in retail, office and in social services. So you can say that I have had a mix of experience but always stayed loyal to the employer I worked for.

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Three Perspectives on Sibling Age Gap

Many, many years ago at the age of seven, I remember going to my mom and asking her if we could have a baby that I could play with. I also recall very clearly that not too long after that conversation, my mom told me that she was pregnant. I was thrilled to hear that I was going to have a baby brother or sister to play with and I was also wondering how come I never got anything else that I asked for! Well played mom!😉

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The Easter Craft Fiasco

There is nothing like a homemade gift made by a child as these gifts carry a sentimental value and they can be very fun to make.

Since Nikki is only 19 months old, I had to research to see which activity would be age appropriate and what she could have fun with. I was thrilled to find an adorable craft that was a carrot made from the child’s footprint. For this craft I required paint and I decided to make my own paint which would be safe and very inexpensive to make. Here is how I made it.

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Lily’s Legacy At Work

Many of you may recall my recent blog on the loss of our beloved cat, Lily. If not, please feel free to read this heart touching story by clicking here.

Part of our story was to take our tragic loss and turn it into something positive, hence the start of Lily’s Legacy. Our goal was to raise money to help other animals that need a second chance in life. Lily got her second chance and now it was our turn to pay it forward. The charity that we picked that we know Lily would have loved is called, Companion Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) in Mississauga.

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A Tearful Good-Bye

Our pets are more than just pets as they become a member of the family. The love and care we feel for them is so very special. They are the ones who are always loyal and by our side when we need them the most. This is how we felt about our cat Lily.

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Valentine’s Day

I have never been a Valentine’s Day type of person as I never felt that I needed a designated day to tell the ones I love that I appreciated them. I always felt it was important to tell my loved ones how much they mean to me as much as I can. Of course in reality, we do forget to tell people how much they mean to us on a daily basis but I know that we do try our very best.

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What’s in a Name?

Picking a name for your baby is an important decision to make and that is why it can be difficult to pick one. There are many things to consider when picking a name for your baby, such as popularity, origin, pronunciation, and family history, but one of the most important factors is its meaning. The meaning behind the name can be the definition and where the name originated; the personal meaning to you; and/or how the name was picked for your child. Once you know the meaning, it will help when your child asks, “What does my name mean?” I know that I asked when I was a child and therefore I’m preparing myself for when my daughter asks me.

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Happy 2016!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome 2016! I want to first thank all of my followers for all your love and support in 2015 as it is truly appreciated. It has been a rollercoaster year with many ups and downs; however, they were filled with lots of love and no regrets.

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Teaching the Spirit of Giving

My parents were not born in Canada but emigrated here from Azores, Portugal in the 70’s and like many immigrants who were coming to Canada at that time it was for a better life and future. My parents did not have much when they arrived in Canada but were hopeful on the life they can build with the opportunities that were here.

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Laid Off After Maternity Leave

As I was preparing myself for my maternity leave, all I could focus on was bringing this new life into the world. I did not want to think about all the changes that were happening at my workplace and did not want to “over-think” why my position was not filled by anyone but instead pieces of my job was being dissected and given to different staff members. Why would I invest that extra energy elsewhere when I needed it for my baby? Besides I was going on maternity leave so I had to come back, right?!

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Fatherhood: What My Husband Has Learned

For this piece, I consulted with my expert, my husband and father to my daughter, Nikki. As we chase our 14-month old around our place all day long, we manage to chit chat about what he has learned since becoming a father.

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Gestational Diabetes

All pregnant women are screened within 28 weeks of pregnancy for Gestational Diabetes. Between 3 and 20 percent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, depending on their risk factors. And little did I know that this was a reality that I was going to experience.

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To Pierce or Not To Pierce: The Pressure

A hot topic for many when you have a baby girl is whether to pierce or not to pierce her ears. There have been many opinions on this topic in the news and magazines and everyone has their own view. Many pros and cons have been listed in the media on piercing that can make the decision conflicting.

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Motherhood: What I’ve Learned

Motherhood is a beautiful, rewarding, stressful and tiring role. But the most important one that one can ever have.

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Marriage 101

Marriage to me means the union of two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together. Marriage is a life long commitment that requires hard work from both parties to make it last forever.

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Dealing with Loss

At one time or another, we all deal with loss in our lives. It never is easy but part of the circle of life. But what happens when the loss has not entered the world yet?

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Through Sickness and Health: Life with a spouse with liver disease

My husband, Mike and I met through mutual friends and were together for seven years before we got married. The two of us never thought that our wedding vows would be put to the test early in our life together.

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