Mario Lopez tells PEOPLE his and wife's baby on the way was "a bit of a Christmas miracle" after not being sure they would be able to have another child

Since Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney announced they’re expecting their third child on Friday, the television personality has been buzzing with excitement.

While the couple were trying for another baby last year, they started to accept the possibility they would stay a family of four if they didn’t conceive in 2018.

“If it didn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. Not part of God’s plan. We have one of each,” the Extra host, 45, tells PEOPLE exclusively of their mentality before finding out the happy news. “But it got in there! It snuck in, towards the end, so a bit of a Christmas miracle.”

As the family looks forward to their newest addition arriving in July, Lopez reveals the couple’s son Dominic “Nico” Luciano, 5, and daughter Gia Francesca, 8, have some strong opinions about their sibling-to-be.

Mario and Courtney Lopez
| Credit: Courtney Lopez/Instagram

“At first they were like, ‘Wait, what?’ They couldn’t understand. It took a second for it to register,” he jokes. “My daughter got very dramatic. She was like, ‘If I have another brother, I’m telling you right now, I’m moving to Texas!’ ”

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On the other hand, Nico is rooting for a boy, but the baby’s sex doesn’t make a difference to Lopez or his wife, who want to be surprised.

“We’ve waited for all the kids, [so] it’s going to be a surprise. We’re pretty old school, you know, it being the tie-breaker,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter, to be honest, as long as it’s healthy. We’re just very excited. The gender reveal will be when it’s born!”

Lopez teased that they broke the news earlier in Courtney’s pregnancy this time because his wife “didn’t want anyone thinking she was getting fat.”

Despite her fear, the star says, “I love when she is pregnant. I think she looks beautiful and wears pregnancy well. I love my wife while she’s pregnant, she looks great.”

86th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Lopez family
| Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty

The Lopez family

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The Saved by the Bell alum also credits the mother of two as being “the quarterback of the team” regarding their family and says they know the baby will have an Italian first name to honor her heritage.

To make Courtney feel extra special, he plans on “showering her with even more love and affection,” Lopez tells PEOPLE, adding, “I know she appreciates and loves it. She’s the quarterback of the team. You’ve got to protect the quarterback.”

And while Courtney hasn’t experienced any strange cravings or nausea thus far, this pregnancy has been very different for a special reason.

“The kids tend to her. They’re always kissing her belly. They’re very excited. It’s really neat to see how the kids react,” Lopez says of how Gia and Nico are stepping up to help their mom.

Credit: Courtney Lopez/Instagram

Gia Lopez

Credit: Courtney Lopez/Instagram

Dominic Lopez

On Friday afternoon the couple shared they’re expecting in adorable Instagram posts. “Oh BABY!! Here we go again …🤰🏻 #LopezPartyOfFive #DebutingInJuly,” Courtney captioned a photo series of the family, showing off their excitement — and her baby bump.

The spouses met in 2008 and were married in 2012, where Gia, then 2, served as the flower girl. The event featured a mariachi band and a wedding cake with a winter-wonderland-meets-beach theme by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro.

Following the nuptials, Lopez joked the couple were “working on” expanding their family. “Right after the wedding,” he said. “We’ll wait for the guests to leave and then we’re getting right on that!”

In 2017, the longtime television personality told PEOPLE that being a dad to both a son and a daughter has been a big learning experience, raving about “Daddy’s girl” Gia, “She’s a very quick kid and very funny and very sensitive and emotional and nurturing.”

A few months after Nico was born, the star opened up to PEOPLE about the possibility of expanding his family again — and how his life has changed for the better since he became a parent with Courtney.

“Being with Gia and Dominic gives me the chance to be a kid all over again,” he says. “All of a sudden I have two amazing playmates. I can’t imagine my life without children.”