Leighton @ 3 months


Height + Weight: Approx 23″ | 13lbs 4oz (We didn’t have a monthly checkup, so we measured her ourselves for an estimate.)

Milestones: Oh my goodness, we have such a chatterbox on our hands! A couple weeks ago, we noticed that instead of crying when she woke up in her crib each morning, she was starting to “talk” — making lots of little noises and entertaining herself for quite a while before she started to get upset and really want to be picked up. Her coos and noises are absolutely adorable… we keep saying we wonder what stories she’s trying to tell us. 🙂

She is obsessed with her tongue! She sticks it out all the time and looks like a little lizard — it’s the cutest thing ever. 

Likes: She has become so incredibly smiley, especially when she’s lying on her back in our laps or on her changing table! And for some reason, getting to lie there in just her diaper is like icing on the cake to her!

Of all the baby-holding devices that we use to help us around the house from time to time, she seems to really enjoy the 4moms Bounceroo the most. I put her in it in our bathroom every morning and we listen to music while I get ready for the day. She’ll stay in that seat and be happy about it much longer than when in the swing downstairs. She probably just likes staring at the bathroom lights, but I’ll take it!

She’s also really started to enjoy her activity mat. She’ll happily lie there staring up at her monkey and puppy friends hanging above her head. It’s fun to see her focusing on objects, occasionally reaching out for them, and enjoying “play” time more and more!


Dislikes: Still being made to wait to eat once she’s decided she’s hungry. She also really dislikes being put in her car seat, but she usually calms down once the car starts moving… and then does not like it when the car stops. Makes long red lights fun. 🙂

She has started to get rather attached to me, which of course makes me feel like a million bucks, but it is also hard because I’d love to hand her off to everyone who wants to get in some baby snuggles. Hopefully this phase will pass before too long so that friends and family can enjoy holding her as much as I do! 

Fun stuff  & firsts: She had a very exciting first this month — our friend Amy’s son Jack, who is 2, managed to sneak in a kiss when we came to visit over Thanksgiving, and it was pretty darn sweet. 

We celebrated Leighton’s first Thanksgiving and took a road trip to Nashville to be with Craig’s family. This was her first time going to Tennessee, and we had so much fun introducing her to all of his extended family, as well as several of our friends. She’s now checked off 3 states in just 2.5 months — next up, Alabama for our Sims/Smith/Finch family Christmas!



Leighton @ 2 months

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Height + Weight: 22.84” (68th percentile) | 11lbs 5oz (50th percentile)

We had her two month checkup this morning, and aside from a little cold and slight cradle cap on her eyebrow area (that’s why they look orange in photos right now), she got a glowing review from the doctor. She did have to get her first round of shots, which is never fun. Thankfully, we don’t have to go back till she’s 4 months. Yay!

Milestones: Leighton moved on up to size 1 diapers this month, and she has also outgrown most of her newborn clothes. We have a couple pair of footie pjs that she never even got to wear because she was too long for them. She’s growing like crazy, which is great but also bittersweet!

She has also become so much more alert. All of a sudden, she really likes to be held facing outward and sitting up – I guess she was tired of just looking at us all the time. 🙂 And she’s been rocking tummy time since we started propping her up on a little boppy pillow. The first time she held her head up high and looked all around was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen!


Likes: Leighton LOVES bath time. She will sit quietly in her baby tub and just look around while we bathe her, and she only cries when it’s time to get out — ha! And we’ve discovered that she really enjoys lying on her changing pad in her room… sometimes I think she’d stay there for an hour if we could leave her unattended! (Not to worry, she’s always supervised.)

She also loves going on walks in her stroller. We got the City Mini GT, and I love it so much! A couple weeks ago, we started laying down the back of the seat so she could be strapped right into the stroller rather than having to sit in her car seat since she’s still so small. She will lie there looking up through the little sunroof in the hood of the stroller, just happy as a clam!


Dislikes: Still seriously hates being made to wait more than about 5 seconds to eat when she’s hungry! It’s amazing how mad she can get and how quickly things escalate when she’s dying of starvation. 

She also does not appreciate being swaddled — especially by her daddy because he does it so tightly! But it never fails to calm her down and get her to sleep once she’s wrapped.

Fun stuff & firsts: We celebrated Leighton’s first official holiday — Halloween! She was the cutest cupcake, and we had a great time celebrating with our neighborhood friends.

Not exactly fun, but she seems to have developed a bit of acid reflux recently. Out of nowhere, she started screaming every time she was put in her crib at night, her spit up went from normal to crazy amounts being spewed all over us and the floor, and she seemed to be in a bit pain during feedings. So we’ve done a few things to help, and they seem to be working. Hopefully she’ll outgrow this before too long!

The past month, she’s had several restaurant and shopping outings, and she’s getting much more used to hanging out in her car seat for longer periods of time. Riding in the car tends to put her to sleep pretty quickly, which is nice!

To cap off her 2nd month, Leighton has found her tongue, is chewing on her fists, and has officially started smiling! To interact with her and receive a genuine smile is one of the happiest feelings — it totally redeems her random crying fits. 🙂 But seriously, baby smiles will melt your heart!




Leighton @ 1 month


Leighton turned one month old last weekend, and we also took our first out-of-state trip with her to celebrate my grandmother Nana’s 90th birthday. What a fun trip!

This past month has brought us little sleep and little contact with the outside world (other than wonderful visits from family and friends who came to deliver food). But I think it’s safe to say it’s also been the best, most joyful month of our lives. We’ve started to settle into a routine and are learning her many needs and how to care for our little girl. Being a new parent is not for the faint of heart, but it’s the most rewarding, fulfilling job and privilege.


Height + Weight: 21.75″ (73rd percentile on the growth chart!) | 9lbs 3oz (42nd percentile)

We had her one month checkup this morning, and she has grown a ton in just 3 weeks – almost 2 inches in height alone! The doctor was really happy with her stats, and we’re thankful for a healthy girl (with a very healthy appetite).

Milestones: She quickly blew past her birthweight within a week of being home from the hospital, thanks to a little growth spurt that caused her to want to eat almost non-stop for 3 days straight. She’s also been trying to hold her head up since week 1, and she’s definitely getting the hang of it more each day! She tends to eat every 2-3 hours and take a couple naps during the day, and she’s thankfully been sleeping 4-5 hours for the first stretch at night. We’re just starting to work on a sleep/feeding schedule and have transitioned her to her crib this week, which has proven to be exhausting. Please pray for us that we don’t go insane in the process! Hopefully we’ll regain some normalcy once she’s regularly sleeping longer amounts at night and gets used to taking naps in her crib instead of being held. (But really, is there much better than a sleeping baby cuddled in your arms?) 

Likes: She LOVES being held, and we discovered (during one of her many screaming fits) that she will usually calm down when we bounce around with her while listening to (and singing) songs played on Pandora. So far, she’s a big fan of country and hip hop. Such a perfect combo of her mom and dad – ha! She loves to eat, and she is obsessed with having her tiny hands by her face. She’s also taken to napping in the Solly Baby Wrap, which is a lifesaver for me when I’m home alone and need to get things done around the house.

Dislikes: Not being held! 🙂 If she is not swaddled and being held during the day, she is likely wide awake and not happy about it. But I can’t say I mind too much… she’s just so teeny and cuddly, and I know that won’t last forever. She does not appreciate being made to wait even one minute to eat when she’s clearly starving to death. And when it’s time to be burped, she makes the funniest squeaking sounds and tries to stiffen her little body out so I can’t sit her up. Such a drama queen! 🙂

Fun stuff  & firsts: We’ve had a fun month filled with the start of football season, her newborn portrait session with my childhood best friend, our trip to Jacksonville for her first party, and the beginning of fall.

Leighton got to meet all three of her great-grandmothers in her first month, which has got to be some sort of record, especially given that they all live out of state. I really wanted them to meet her soon after she was born, and I’m so thankful that it worked out for that to happen!

So far, she’s gotten several nicknames: LL Cool Hayes, Lay Lay, Tooty Booty (I’m sure she’ll appreciate that when she’s older), LL, and Baby Bear (her puppy sister Coco is nicknamed Coco Bear).

We have had the best time laughing at her array of funny faces and noises. When she was born, her little cries sounded like a baby goat, and she makes the most hilarious oinking sound when she’s really hungry and starts to eat. It never fails to make us laugh. She also makes the sweetest little coos and sighs while she’s sleeping, and she loves putting her balled-up fist right next to her head. My favorite face that she makes is one that I call “baby bird,” which she does when she’s hungry (before getting downright angry). She purses her lips together and looks all around with the biggest, sweetest eyes. It’s the absolute cutest thing!

The first month of Leighton’s life has absolutely flown by. I couldn’t be more thankful for our healthy, thriving, happy little girl, and I’m excited to see what changes the next month brings!





Welcome to the world, Leighton!

Craig and I could not be more thrilled to announce the arrival of our precious baby girl, Leighton Lane Hayes! She arrived just under 5 hours past her due date at 4:53am on Thursday, September 10, 2015. She weighed 7 lbs 6.9 oz and measured 19 3/4″ long and has Auburn colored hair, which we were a bit surprised by!

I started having contractions on Wednesday, 9/9 (our due date), and after a couple calls with the on-call doctor, we headed to the hospital that night and were admitted at 10:30pm. Things progressed much more quickly than I thought would have been the case with our first baby, and by 2am, I was more than in need of an epidural for the pain. That process was much less excruciating that I had anticipated, but that also may have been because I knew it would bring some relief from the pain I was in every couple minutes with contractions. Oh man, labor pains are like nothing I’ve ever felt before! I told Craig and my mom that whoever invented the epidural is now one of my favorite people — I don’t know how I would have made it through delivery without it. After just 1 hour and 23 minutes of pushing, Dr. Taylor delivered our healthy little girl and I’d say it was the single most amazing, surreal moment of both of our lives.

It’s amazing how naturally little Miss Leighton has become a part of our family. In some ways, I feel like we’ve had her forever, because I can’t imagine our lives without her now. Coco has been adjusting well and enjoys sniffing and licking everything Leighton touches. I see a good bit of Craig in her coloring and features, and I can’t wait to see if her hair stays that pretty Auburn color or if her eyes turn brown like mine did.

We’re getting the hang of life with our new addition, and while we’ve never been so exhausted in our lives, we also feel so incredibly thankful and honored to have been chosen to be this little one’s parents. She truly is God’s perfect gift to us!

[preparing for go-time]
[baby girl has arrived!!]
[proud daddy and his girl]
[one of our first family photos]
[aunt Lauren + uncle Andrew meet their niece]
[grandma and grandpa Sims with their first grandchild]
[headed home!!]
[grandma and grandpa Hayes – also with their first grandchild]
[Coco meets her sister]