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Adventures of a Modern Mom: Game-show experience yields lots of questions

In my last article, I wrote about my experience as a contestant on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show. I taped the show at the Sony Studios in Culver City, California, on Feb. 13, and it aired April 16.

June 12, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a Modern Mom: What it's really like to be on 'Wheel'

Adventures of a Modern Mom: What it's really like to be on 'Wheel'

I recently went bankrupt, but it wasn’t as bad as you might think.

April 10, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Kelley Helfand on Wheel of Fortune

Kelley Helfand on Wheel of Fortune

Kelley Helfand stands in front of the famous board with husband Michael and sons Griffin, lower left, and Preston. 

April 03, 2014 2:48 pm
Adventures of a Modern Mom: Particularly cool fad is making the rounds

Adventures of a Modern Mom: Particularly cool fad is making the rounds

When the holidays or my sons’ birthdays roll around, my parents, looking for gift ideas, ask me, “What are they interested in right now?” The key words in that question are “right now.”

February 06, 2014 12:00 am Photos

Photos

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Rainbow Loom

Rainbow Loom

The Rainbow Loom can produce a range of decorative wear: bracelets, necklaces, rings and other shapes. The looms are particularly popular with boys.

January 29, 2014 1:39 pm
Rainbow Loom

Rainbow Loom

Patterns are varied for the Rainbow Looms — some are relatively simple, others complicated.

January 29, 2014 1:37 pm
Adventures of a Modern Mom: School's book fair is fun, rewarding experience

Adventures of a Modern Mom: School's book fair is fun, rewarding experience

Twice per school year at Manzanita Elementary School the Family Faculty Organization, or FFO — which is similar to a PTA — puts on a book fair. The students go nuts over it. They love books, and they love to read. I’ve been a co-chair of the book fair for the last 2ƒ years, and it’s a fun an…

December 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Preston Helfand

Preston Helfand

Preston Helfand checks out a book during the recent book fair at Manzanita Elementary School. The sale had an ancient-Egypt-reading-oasis theme.

November 26, 2013 10:55 am

Adventures of a Modern Mom: Aging is less cool the more you do it

Because of the Sept. 1 kindergarten cutoff date where I grew up, and because my birthday is in early September, I was the first of my high school friends to turn 16, get my driver’s license and start driving. I was also the first of my college friends to legally get into bars. On both occasi…

October 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Downtown Tucson is growing into a vibrant destination

For many years, I was a “city girl.” I lived in Chicago — not “Chicagoland” or any of the suburbs that are miles and miles from the city.

September 05, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Shortly after our family moved to the Foothills, we heard friends and acquaintances talk about Coronado, Calif. People raved about it. They told us it's a wonderful vacation destination, with beautiful beaches, lots of green parks and activities for the whole family. One friend described it …

July 25, 2013 12:00 am Photos

Photos

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Adventures of a modern mom: Coronado Island

Adventures of a modern mom: Coronado Island

The island is full of front yards with beautiful flower gardens.

July 24, 2013 11:32 am
Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

The July 4 parade on Coronado Island lasted about two hours, and there was an abundance of patriotic bunting throughout the community.

July 24, 2013 11:29 am
Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Coronado is full of front yards with beautiful flower gardens.

July 24, 2013 11:23 am
Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Adventures of a modern mom: Those nice things about Coronado Island are all true

Signs on the front lawns of some homes on Coronado Island proudly proclaim that they're the homes of naval aviators.

July 24, 2013 11:24 am

Adventures of a modern mom: Food no-nos make shopping a challenge

Sometimes I go to the grocery store and feel like there is nothing suitable to buy. There are so many books and schools of thought regarding what we should and shouldn't eat.

May 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: This 'most interesting man in world' to be at book fest

Adventures of a modern mom: This 'most interesting man in world' to be at book fest

A series of humorous commercials for Dos Equis beer features a character touted as "The Most Interesting Man in the World." The Man is shown in exotic settings easily performing feats such as freeing a bear from a trap and surfing a killer wave.

March 07, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Thanks for ideas about how families can help

In my last column, in late December, I wrote about our family's desire to find a consistent volunteer opportunity for the four of us. We have had difficulty finding that, and I asked readers to write in with suggestions. I would like to thank the readers who shared the following leads with me:

February 14, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

Opportunities to volunteer with children seem scarce

'Tis the season of giving, and volunteer opportunities abound. Preston's and Griffin's elementary school has a holiday project in which food, clothing and toys are collected for needy families at another elementary school in Tucson.

December 20, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Boys learn lesson despite missing school

Adventures of a modern mom: Boys learn lesson despite missing school

A draft of a speech with Franklin Delano Roosevelt's edits is on display at a Pearl Harbor museum.

October 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Boys learn lesson despite missing school

Adventures of a modern mom: Boys learn lesson despite missing school

A week before the Catalina Foothills School District fall break, I emailed Preston's and Griffin's teachers to let them know that the boys would be missing the three half days preceding the two-day break, and I felt guilty.

October 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Chefs, kids, teachers never fail to impress

As summer winds down, here are a few topics that have come to mind lately.

September 06, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
A '2nd city' makes for special vacations

A '2nd city' makes for special vacations

Tucson has a lot of transplants, and before moving to the Old Pueblo, those residents spent years in other cities. We're transplants, too, and for our family Chicago is our home away from home.

July 12, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Book-hungry son needs recommendations for summer

Adventures of a modern mom: Book-hungry son needs recommendations for summer

Avid reader Preston Helfand, 8, doesn't leave home without two books - his current read and a backup in case he finishes it.

May 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Book-hungry son needs recommendations for summer

Adventures of a modern mom: Book-hungry son needs recommendations for summer

Our son, Preston, who is 8, can't get enough of books. He loves to read. He won't leave home without a book in his hands. Actually, he takes two books with him wherever he goes - the one he is currently reading and a second book as a backup in case he finishes the first book.

May 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: March may just be most wonderful time of year

I feel like March is giving Christmastime a run for its money as the most wonderful time of the year.

March 29, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Disconcerting news on the music, toy store and author front

Today I'd like to share some thoughts I've had on music, the Tucson Lifestyle "Best of the City" article and the passing of author Jeffrey Zaslow.

February 23, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Cleaning out house helps us ring in new year

On New Year's Day my husband and I had a morning to ourselves. Our sons would be coming back in the afternoon after a sleepover at my parents' home, so what would we do with the next five hours?

January 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Christmas lights have always made my holidays bright

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is enjoying the lights. I grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and a very important holiday tradition there is the Plaza lights.

December 22, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Giving thanks is year-round event at my home

Over the last year or so, as we sit down to dinner, our family has gotten into the habit of sharing something aloud that we are thankful for. It has been great for us to stop and reflect on the wonderful things in our life, some major, some trivial.

November 24, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Manzanita kids turn out for annual Desert Dash

Manzanita kids turn out for annual Desert Dash

Saturday at 7 a.m. sharp, students from Manzanita Elementary School started a 2-mile fun run/walk at Sabino Canyon called the Desert Dash.

October 27, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Long-haired boy is a standout in so many ways

Adventures of a modern mom: Long-haired boy is a standout in so many ways

Sofia Redondo, 11, mom Laura Belleau, and Fletcher Redondo, 8. Fletcher is growing his hair for Locks of Love.

October 06, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a modern mom: Long-haired boy is a standout in so many ways

Adventures of a modern mom: Long-haired boy is a standout in so many ways

When my son Preston showed up to the fields at Mehl Park in March 2010 for his first Canyon View Little League baseball practice, one boy on his new team immediately stood out. It was Fletcher Redondo.

October 06, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Kids did 'grow fast'; now I'm in 'enjoy them while you can' mode

Years ago, when I was a new mom carrying my baby boy around town, complete strangers would sometimes stop me to say hello and then advise me, "Kids grow up so fast. Enjoy them while you can." Then they would tell me about their teenagers or grown children.

September 15, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: A rich lesson from 'Millionaire' audition

On a Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I boarded a plane for Las Vegas. I traveled alone and stayed in Sin City for less than 24 hours. I didn't gamble, see a show or take in the sights. I was there to audition for the game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

August 11, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Parents, stop beating yourselves up - you're great

I consider myself a positive, look-on-the-bright-side type of person. But for some reason when it comes to being a parent I'm pretty hard on myself. I focus a lot on what I need to do better, and on what other parents are doing that I'm not.

July 21, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Job hunting has changed, but my enthusiasm hasn't

The last time I searched for a job, Bill Clinton was president, eBay was in its infancy and people were dancing the "Macarena." I was in my last semester at college and eagerly looking forward to starting a career.

June 23, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Our family must make a doggone difficult decision

Shortly after Mother's Day, I saw our fish at the bottom of its tank, on its side. My sons, Preston, 7, and Griffin, 5, have yet to notice that the fish and its tank are no longer on our kitchen counter.

June 02, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: The arts are gift to my family, our city

Recently, our family went to see a Blue Man Group performance at the University of Arizona's Centennial Hall.

May 12, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Electronic or in print, coupons are just great

When I was a child in the late 1970s and early '80s I helped my mom clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper inserts every week. She would give me a certain percentage of the coupon savings as pay for the job, and I unwittingly improved my math skills.

April 21, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Kids' parties are complex these days

Imagine two adults meeting for the first time. They say hello and share their names. Then instead of discussing family or weather or work, one asks the other, "How old are you?" Without hesitation, the other answers, then asks in return, "How old are you?"

March 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Parents could learn from kids' resilience

Do you remember your child's first emergency? That accident or illness that sent you racing to the emergency room or had you calling the pediatrician or dentist in a panic?

March 03, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Thanks, readers, for all the great book recommendations

Thanks to all the readers of my Feb. 10 column, "It's my turn to pick a book for club and … got any ideas?" who posted comments online and sent e-mails with book recommendations.

February 17, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: It's my turn to pick a book for club and ... got any ideas?

I wonder when I'll have the time to read as much as I like. Time to sit outside on gorgeous, sunny Southern Arizona days and read for hours at a time. Will I have to wait until I retire? Maybe when my husband and I are empty-nesters, about 13 years from now?

February 10, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Extraordinary Tucsonans outshine 'bad guy'

After the Jan. 8 tragedy here, my husband Michael and I, just like parents all over the city, have explained the news to our children and answered their questions.

January 20, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Neighbors make Foothills a friendly place to live

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I've spent some time reflecting on what I'm thankful for. Life itself, good health and loving family and friends top the list.

November 18, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Shadow Hills a bright spot in first Foothills Halloween

I will never forget our first Halloween in the Foothills. We live in a lovely neighborhood with few young children, and most homes have long driveways. Our neighborhood was scary on Halloween night, but only because it was dark and deserted.

October 28, 2010 12:00 amLoading…
Adventures of a Modern Mom: Foothills abounds with good 'pickup' spots

Adventures of a Modern Mom: Foothills abounds with good 'pickup' spots

Do you of any good pickup places in the Foothills? A nice place to meet someone, strike up a conversation, and possibly exchange phone numbers?

October 07, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: From beer to culture, UA offers a lot

Last week, we found ourselves at Dirtbag's Bar on East Speedway, right next to the University of Arizona campus. Mike and I had taken our sons there to play the arcade game Golden Tee Golf.

September 16, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Adventures of a modern mom: Reminder to live in moment is trip's touching souvenir

On a recent Sunday morning, as my 4-year-old son, Griffin, and I entered Portland International Airport, tears started rolling down his cheeks, and he pleaded, "I want to live in Portland!"

August 26, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

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