Celebrity Parents Hoda Kotb Talks Maternity Leave and Jokes Boyfriend Joel Is 'Doing the Backstroke in Estrogen' Hoda Kotb made a special appearance on the Today show Friday via video to talk all things parenthood and her forthcoming book I Really Needed This Today By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 2, 2019 12:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Hoda Kotb is soaking up every moment of her time at home with her girls. The Today journalist, 54, is currently on maternity leave from her daytime hosting gig, spending her days bonding with her daughters Hope Catherine, 3 months, and Haley Joy, 2. But she made a much-welcomed appearance on the show via video on Friday — incidentally, Jenna Bush Hager‘s last day before she takes off for her own maternity leave! — where she opened up about being a mother of two and how her kids have already developed such a special relationship. “It’s really cool,” Kotb said. “Haley, when she opens her eyes, the first thing she says to me is, ‘I want to kiss baby Hope.’ And whenever Hope’s crying, she’s like, ‘Don’t worry, Hope! I’m coming!’ … This is a moment in time that I’m trying to freeze.” “I’m trying to remember everything,” she went on. “I look around and look at what they’re doing because I feel like we miss so much of our kids’ lives, and I will again in a little bit. We all do, and that’s life, but sometimes you get a window where you don’t miss, and this is my tiny kind of moment.” Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter. Hoda Kotb/ Instagram Hoda Kotb Makes an Appearance at Jenna Bush Hager’s Baby Shower While on Her Own Maternity Leave Kotb admitted that although she feels like she has “loved every minute of” her 54 years up until this point, “If there’s a window or a moment in my life that has mattered more than anything, it’s right now.” “I know it’s sort of weird that I’m taking this much [leave], but I just feel like sometimes in life you don’t know how much of your kids’ lives you’re gonna be able to see,” said the longtime television journalist, who welcomed Hope via adoption in April and Haley via adoption in February 2017. “You just don’t know,” she added. “But I was saying to myself, I’m not going to miss right now. … If there’s a window or moment in my life that has mattered more than anything, it’s right now.” RELATED VIDEO: Al Roker Meets Hoda Kotb’s New Daughter and Calls Her “The Reason I Can’t Stop Smiling” Between giving updates on her adorable girls and discussing her forthcoming book I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By, Kotb gave her boyfriend of six years Joel Schiffman mad props for his serious dad skills. “Joel’s doing the backstroke in estrogen,” she joked of her “saint” of a partner. “This poor guy is wandering around this house filled with women and girls and listening to all of our babble. They don’t make ’em like Joel.” “Imagine telling a man with a grown daughter in law school, ‘Hey, I want to adopt another child,’ ” Kotb continued, laughing. “He was like, ‘We’re doin’ it!’ So I hit the boy jackpot too.” I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By, out Oct. 15, is available for pre-order now on amazon.com.