Saturday, January 13, 2007

Refridgerator Overhaul

As most of you may know, we've been putting in a new floor in our kitchen and back hallway. We're pretty much done in the kitchen (just a bit more grouting and then installing the new molding. Of course, I still might re-paint the kitchen, but I'm curiously drawing a blank on what color to go with. I'm not normally this indecisive, but for the life of me I can't figure out what would look good. Totally open to suggestions from all you talented home decorators out there. Give a girl a hand, will ya?) but still have the hallway to do. During this process we had to take the refridgerator out of it's cozy nook and temporarily put it in the hallway we're tackling next, since it's right off the kitchen. The fridge fit perfectly in the hallway as if it were meant to go there, and it's been happily ensconced and blocking that hallway from use for the past month. Until today.

Today we finally decided to put the fridge back in it's rightful place and open up the hallway again so we can finish what we started: the floor (of course, the grout we've chosen is no longer available and in stock and we're going to be short, but I'm not going to think about it or my head will literally explode.) When we moved it into the hallway, the boys did it. I was not involved. They took the contents out, moved
the fridge, and put everything back in. Totally and completely wrong and sloppy, but again, at least *I* didn't have to do it. And so it went until today when we moved it back. This time, I was involved and got to see the horror that is the inside of my refridgerator.

Cleaning out the fridge is a job I don't think to do often enough, it appears. I mean, does anyone enjoy that chore?? My mother usually does this for me. Usually before the birth of a baby and during each move. Seriously. That's the reason right there to either have more kids or pull up stakes and move: to have my mother clean out my fridge. Because nothing says you're ready for the baby quite like a sparkling refrid
gerator. You know, because the kid won't be eating anything from that refridgerator for months, but arriving in the world with it clean will somehow make the early months more tolerable and help the child forgive me for whatever traumas it will suffer from having me as it's mother. IT'S OK THAT YOU'VE SCARRED ME BY DENYING ME THE JOY THAT IS LEAPSTER BECAUSE AT LEAST THE FRIDGE WAS CLEAN FOR THE FIRST WEEKS OF MY LIFE. THANKS MOM.

The fridge is a place for endless assortments of condiments, in my case they've taken up permanent residence in the door of my refridgerator. Some are used regularly, but others? not so much. And yet they ALL have a way of making icky, sticky, gooey messes on the bottoms of those shelves in the door. Ewww! I don't notice how bad it is until most of them are
removed from said door and then I feel a shiver of repulsion snake up my spine. Also? The shelf where we keep the milk. WHY does it get so crusty with god-knows-what? We have the kind of refridgerator shelves that are clear glass and can be pulled out like a drawer. Not the rack variety. Which is nice - sort of. I mean, they do contain spills and all, but at the same time, they collect the gunk, too. And for some reason, plastic jugs of milk are gigantic gunk generators. We go through milk like you can't imagine and jugs of it are slid in and out of that shelf multiple times a day. So a nasty build-up of white crust forms over time. There is simply no way to keep with this.

And how, exactly, can the shelves appear relatively clean (no major spills, etc.) and yet a dried pool of mystery liquid forms on the very bottom of the fridge, under the drawers for prod
uce? I guess I've turned a blind eye to this area of my refridgerator as well. Not to mention the freezer - my god! Mystery food now covered in white frost occupied the entire back of my freezer. I should be charging rent. And crumbs. IN MY FREEZER. Only bigger than normal crumbs because they've got a furry frosty coating. Nice.

So today, as Mr. Chick and I took everything out of the fridge in order to move it back into place, I noticed just how bad the state of affairs were inside the icebox (that's what my
gramma always called the fridge: the icebox). And since I'm not expecting another baby, and we're not moving, my mother is not available to clean up this mess for me. I alone must do it.

I threw out a ton of stuff. I like to think I stay pretty current with the contents of the fridge, but
clearly I was mistaken. I discovered we had 2 bottles of pizza sauce, both partially empty. And a random, lost, outdated yogurt tucked way in the back. And an onion that had escaped the confines of the produce drawer and made a rash attempt of escaping into the area behind the drawers. Uh-huh, this stumped me, too. Foolish onion. I tossed at least 4 bags of opened frozen vegetables of dubious age. Some duplicates. Were those frozen peas for consumption, or for using as a cold compress?? Who can tell? I also had to get rid of more than a few ziplocs of perfectly yummy sausages because they decided to go to the dark side and traded flavor for frostbite. That's a bummer.

But now?? Now my refridgerator and freezer are standing tall. They sparkle, inside and out (yes, I even cleaned the top of the fridge. The top, people! How many of you can claim a clean and shiny top of your fridge, huh? I CAN.) There is nothing out of place, and nothing outdated. I would have sworn there was nothing outdated in there before - I'm usually pretty good about staying on top of that sort of thing, leftovers and expiration dates - but I would have been wrong. I don't check the deep, dark recesses often enough and stuff got shoved to the back. The produce drawers are free of debris - no more sprinkling of broccoli florets and bit of onion collecting in the corners. Even the humidity for each drawer is properly set now. Fruits and vegetables are separated! Apparently, fruits and vegetables require different humidity settings (who knew?), so no more mingling! Co-ed dorms for produce no more!

My mother would be so proud.

Now, if I could just get a handle on the outside of the fridge I'd be in business. In the old days (B.C. - Before Children), the front of my fridge was free of all clutter. We had a single clip on the side to hold things like checks to be deposited, or tickets to a show, or other such important items we didn't trust to the counters. But the front? Totally barren. The way it sh
ould be. But now? Now I battle the Fridge Clutter constantly, thanks to such things as the Leap Frog magnetic alphabet phonics thingy, and the Mother Of All Calendars my mother gave me, and other various magnetic things that seem to find their way onto the front of my fridge. It's exasperating. Cluttered counters and cluttered fridge fronts make the entire kitchen seem, well, cluttered. And I HATE clutter. And I'm finding there is really no good way to make the magnetic shutes toys for marbles seems less cluttered. Or those damnable letters (if I never hear that song, "A says "ah", and A says "aay", every letter makes a sound, A says "Ah!" again it'll be too soon). And I'm discovering that the Mother Of All Calendars that is magnetic and fills the ENTIRE SPACE OF THE FREEZER DOOR really is useful after all. So I must learn to embrace the Fridge Clutter.

Love me, love my (clean today, filthy tomorrow) fridge.

What is the mother of all calendars? I think I need that. I embrace the fridge clutter with photos, letter magnets, some magnetic frog puzzle that my son likes. It's a mess. All it needs is a huge calendar. Please share more details.
I'm with you on the clutter, as well as the Leapfrog phonics thingy. A says annoying can it get! I found out. Let's just say if the phonics thingy bothers you, don't buy the Leapfrog Word Whammer.
Congrats. on the clean fridge! I SHOULD do mine too. Hate that job!
Ugh... we bought Brody that Leapfrog magnetic letter thing for Christmas-- stupidest thing I've ever done.
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