How does a researcher investigate phenomena that continually emerge through, with and as various practices? This paper explores this question, drawing on transformative reflections on the unfolding process of an empirical research project investigating professional practice in Dutch early childhood education. The project initially applied an open, exploratory mixed-methods research design, with the aim of gaining a comprehensive understanding of educational realities. As the research project proceeded, however, we found ourselves exploring the multiplicity of educational realities. Incorporating actor-network theory (ANT) into the study design led to an important ontological re-positioning of the project. Drawing on our experiences, we aim to develop the argument that a methodologically heterogeneous research approach is a valuable way to evoke the paradigmatic and methodological reflexivity and humility that is needed to capture the emerging multiplicity of professional practice.