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Maria Menounos Gushes Over Daughter Athena’s Latest Milestones: She’s a ‘Very Advanced Little Girl’ (Exclusive)

Life has been one big adventure for Maria Menounos and husband Keven Undergaro since welcoming their baby girl, Athena, in June.

“She’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” Menounos, 45, says in the new issue of Us Weekly. “Every day gets better. I was playing with her yesterday, [and] she was getting ticklish for the first time. If I put my hands behind her feet when we do tummy time, she makes it to the other side so fast. We have a very advanced little girl!”

That applies to more than just milestones. “[Athena is] 2 months old but she’s tracking the size of a 4-month-old in weight and height! She’s a big girl. Already teething, which is hilarious!” Menounos gushed while promoting the new limited-edition RXBAR ManifX bar. “She’s [also] smiling now. I get up and I put her in her crib. She’ll look at me — she’s just pure joy.”


Maria Menounos Talks Daughter Athena’s Latest Milestones: She’s A ‘Very Advanced Little Girl'
“I want 50 more [kids],” said Menounos. Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Though caring for a newborn can be overwhelming at times, Menounos says that she and Undergaro, 55, have a solid system. “Sometimes I’m eating and Keven’s changing her diaper — and we’re just tagging in and out,” she jokes, adding: “I [do] have a nurse helping me at night. Because of everything I’ve gone through, my health has to come first, so I need sleep. We’re all with [Athena].”
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In May, the former E! News anchor revealed that she had quietly battled Stage 2 pancreatic cancer earlier this year — not long after learning that she and Undergaro were expecting via surrogate. (After Menounos had a brain tumor removed In 2017, her neurosurgeon advised her against carrying a child.)

Menounos was devastated upon receiving the diagnosis. “I was looking at my church icons on my mantel, thinking, ‘How can you bless me with a baby, and I’m not going to meet her?’” she told Us in July. “I was guttural crying, Keven was crying, and he never cries. It was a nightmare.”

Maria Menounos Talks Daughter Athena’s Latest Milestones: She’s A ‘Very Advanced Little Girl'
“She has my smile,” Menounos says of her little girl. Courtesy of Maria Menounos/Instagram

It wasn’t easy, but Menounos remained positive. “I’ve had a lot of low moments, so I’ve had a lot of practice in overcoming them,” she shared. “You have to come out of the victim mentality. Everyone asks, ‘Why me?’ And my thing is, ‘Why not me?’ That helps me get out of things faster. I try to focus on how I want to feel rather than the other stuff.”

Since Athena’s arrival, Menounos and Undergaro have been in total baby bliss. “I look at him, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, we’re a family, honey.’ I’m just so grateful to have a family, the most amazing feeling in the world,” she tells Us, adding that parenthood has changed her and Undergaro’s five-year marriage for the better.

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“It’s brought us closer,” she notes. “The two of us look at each other and [say], ‘Can you believe this? Can you believe we made her?’ It’s the coolest feeling in the world.”

Maria Menounos Talks Daughter Athena’s Latest Milestones: She’s A ‘Very Advanced Little Girl'
Courtesy of Maria Menounos/Instagram

For more on Menounos’ life as a new mom, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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