Kathie Lee & Hoda: Our hearts expand for 'Hoda Mama's' new baby

BYKathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb
Hoda Kotb posted Instagram photos of her new baby on Easter.

She's back! After two months of maternity leave, Hoda is back on “Today” and in the Daily News, brimming with stories about her new life as a mother, her adorable Haley Joy and all that has changed. Welcome back, Hoda.


KLG: I hope you’ve discovered that through this, if you didn’t know already, how beloved you are by so many people.

HK: It’s that kind of sincerity that makes me emotional. I see everything differently with Haley. Everything is seen through her prism. It’s like the lights are now on in the house. And, weirdly, everything makes me cry. I swear I wasn’t like this before.

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KLG: When things move you, you tear up. When it’s real. But I’ve never seen a phony moment out of you.

HK: You know how you always say, “I don’t cry from cruelty, I cry from kindness?” That’s me now, I cry when I see kindness and I cry when I feel sincerity.

KLG: That’s what moves you to tears, real kindness. It used to be cruelty would make me cry, but there’s so much of that now sadly. But kindness? It moves me so deeply I can’t even stand it.

Kathie Lee tells Hoda she is "beloved" by people for sharing Easter pictures of her new baby.


HK: And there’s something about someone who looks at you and it’s totally completely sincere and you can feel it.

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KLG: Like the ways babies look at you.

HK: Exactly. I really only have one hope. I just hope Haley Joy is happy. That’s it. If she’s a happy person and wakes up happy, that’s all. I don’t even care about the rest, the rest will come. If she’s happy, then I’ve done my job.

KLG: The heart expands.

HK: It expands and it can just keep going forever, if you just keep putting things in it.

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Hoda normally takes a ton of pictures. She once had “selfie elbow” as diagnosed by a doctor remember? And that’s only accelerated since she went from Hoda to Hoda Mama!

Hoda Kotb in Instagram photo with her new baby Haley Joy.


HK: I hate myself. I’m boring everybody. You know, the first day it’s fine, everyone is fine with it. But now I’m like: “Then she was sitting and drooling! Then she laughed at the pediatrician!” And people are like: “Oh, wow, anything else? That’s all you got?” But I can’t stop!

KLG: And you shouldn’t! People are so happy for you. I hope you know how loved you are, Hoda.

HK: I can already see the glazed-over look in their eyes, but I keep on swiping through the pictures. I know they all basically look the same, but I don’t care, I just keep taking pictures and then forcing people to see them because she changes every day.

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Kathie Lee isn’t sure exactly how it happened, but First Lady Melania Trump read from KLG’s “Party Animals” at the White House Easter Egg Roll this week! As for Hoda, well, she’s been reading some kids books, too. She says little Miss Haley Joy loves story time.

KLG: I was stunned when I saw the First Lady reading my book! I couldn’t even remember when that book came out, it was a long time ago. And the only people that own it are reselling it — it’s not available anywhere. I do have a few boxes in storage if anybody wants to buy them.

HK: You should reprint the book! How do you think she got it?

U.S. First Lady Melania Trump reading a children's book by Kathie Lee Gifford during the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.


KLG: I truly don’t know. And I was stunned. All of a sudden I’m home writing and my Twitter starts going crazy and I think: “Oh, crap, what did I say to get myself in trouble on the show?” But it was just everyone sending me photos of Melania, in a beautiful dress, reading my book! (People are actually selling their copies for $700 online today.)

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HK: These days, we’re reading a lot of “Goodnight Moon,” but we make up our own words like: “goodnight table that everyone trips over when they walk in,” “goodnight poop stained walls” and “goodnight Pampers that she has already outgrown.” “Goodnight Moon” is good, but it doesn’t make any sense. Good night mush, red balloon and no one? I mean, that’s what it says. But there is something about it. Because you’re like, “goodnight air” and that even makes me want to fall asleep. So that one is on repeat. We also read “Tacky the Penguin” and “Ada Twist Scientist.”


Hoda says she named her daughter after Halley’s Comet, picturing her soaring through the air so they could finally meet each other. And Joy, because she’s brought so much joy already.

HK: I call her Haley Joy.

KLH: Nugget! You call her Nugget!

HK: Yea, I do call her nugget. That’s my nickname for her. “Good Morning, Nugget” is the first thing I say to her every morning, when it’s just us, and I’m about to take her out of that sleepsack thing. It’s my favorite moment of the whole day. But I like the double name like Kathie Lee! it’s kinda Southern and I love it.

Watch Kathie Lee & Hoda every day at 10 a.m. during the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" show. Click here for more at Today.com.

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