June 17, 2013

Extending the critter hunt courtesy of one bright headlight

Just so you know, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias® I checked out some flashlight alternatives including night headlights and chose my favorite one for a fun activity with Kayla.  #LightMyWay #cbias

A little while back I told you about Kayla's snail hunting adventure and how the simple pleasure of discovering some begonia eating garden snails outshined any experience I could have paid for.  I also mentioned that a personal weakness of mine is knowing when to leave well enough alone.  Especially when it comes to my child.

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

After hearing that my MIL planned to retaliate against the begonia eating snails with  Sluggo - a substance I'd never heard of but could imagine what it's purpose was I did what any irrational mother would do.  I drove to the local pet store and found myself roaming the aisle filled with products people who have lizards and hermit crabs buy.  Thirty minutes of even more irrationally perusing and comparing plastic critter homes, crab hiding places and water dishes resulted in the creation of a luxurious habitat for the little slimy guys.

Mommy Testers  garden snail habitat snail cage snail tank

My logic was that the new found tree hugging hippie in me refused to let Kayla's beloved snails be exterminated before her next visit and this would be an excellent lesson in the circle of life played out with creatures that lacked fur and soulful eyes and therefore didn't require a backyard shoebox burial.  How long can snails possibly live?  I almost died when reading off of Google on the way home from the pet store my MIL announced "longer than a dog if well cared for!"  Shoot.  Me.  Now.

Mommy Testers organic carrots from farmers market

Putting the snail life expectancy shock aside and choosing not to share with my already not-so-enthusiastic husband we moved on with our Saturday.  Naturally this included stopping by a farmer's market to pick up some just pulled carrots....for the snails.  I know.  You can say it because I already have - I've lost it.

BUT I'm sure you can relate to the feeling of finding something that feels wholesome and makes your child happy.   Who wouldn't want to keep that happy train going no matter the outlandish destination that train may be headed toward.  Fast forward two weeks and little Miss Kayla is still quite the critter hunter.  I'm still the totally semi-neurotic mother that is psyched she's so interested in nature.  So after opening up our home to 6 hungry garden snails why not spend a lazy Sunday doing some very serious bug hunting?

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

We started with ant watching.  While recently purging toys from our overstuffed toy drawers I spared this giant magnifying glass and now I'm super happy about that decision! It was just perfect for examining the teeny tiny ants that live in our front yard.  After that we unsuccessfully chased a moth.  By we I mean mostly me and while no creature was captured with Kayla's butterfly net, I'm fairly certain I entertained several neighbors while wildly whipping it around the front yard like a total nutter. The things you do for your kids...

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

Thank goodness I was saved by dinner hour arriving and we headed back inside to eat and get into pajamas.  Of course Kayla wanted more time to hunt for creatures as dusk hit.  Which is when for the first time all afternoon I felt clever because I had picked up a little Energizer headlamp for Kayla, knowing that being a little Energizer Bunny herself, she would want to keep on going!

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

So we continued searching for a creature of interest.  Kayla was totally excited about her "headband flashlight" and got up close and personal with lots of plants, looking all the way inside of the bushes with her new light source.  I liked that her hands were free to pick things up and move leaves aside instead of holding a flashlight.  Plus, when you're 4, having a light strapped to your head, unicorn style is super cool.

Mommy Testers critter hunting with Energizer headlights #LightMyWay

And thank goodness our efforts were finally rewarded when Kayla found this egg shell from what I assume was a recently hatched baby bird.  Hatched or eaten.  I'm going with hatched! We've never found one of those and seeing the giant smile on her face and how excited she was to run and tell her dad about it was one million percent worth my butterfly net swoops of shame.  She went to bed tired from a long day of fresh air and I went to bed with that rare but fantastic feeling that today, I was a great mom.
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