Vanessa Lachey: Motherhood is "surreal in all the best ways"

Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey attend Sprint Sound Sessions at Webster Hall on April 29, 2014 in New York City.

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Sprint

It still hasn't quite sunk in for Vanessa Lachey that she's a mom of two.

She and husband Nick Lachey welcomed daughter Brooklyn Elizabeth in January -- a little sister to join their 2-year-old son, Camden John -- but, ahead of Mother's Day, the actress and TV personality says it still feels a bit surreal.

"I feel like I'm still evolving as a woman and a wife and a mother myself, and then to know that I now have two children -- it's very surreal in all the best ways," Lachey, 34, admitted during a recent visit to CBS News. "I get to sit back and just look at this family that we've created and I'm in awe at it."

And baby Brooklyn, she adds, is a "strong" little girl. "Since the day she was born she just an easy baby, she smiles, she's very aware, very alert, very curious -- and she puts up with her brother already, with the noises and the poking. And she laughs! So I look at her and I'm like, 'You are just a strong little girl.' I just feel it in my heart and in my gut and it makes me so proud," she said.

Being "blessed with two happy, healthy babies" is part of why Lachey has partnered with March of Dimes for their imbornto campaign, which raises funds for the organization's research and programs to help mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. A portion of proceeds from Mother's Day gifts and other items that can be purchased on the website will benefit the organization.

"Every baby deserves a healthy, strong start at life -- I'm born to dream, I'm born to smile, I'm born to love. The crazy statistic is that one in nine babies in the U.S. is born way too soon... [and] the biggest question is, 'Why? Why me, why did this happen?' And we don't know that yet," she said. "I've been lucky and blessed, but it's given me such empathy. Because while I was pregnant with both Camden and Brooklyn the No. 1 concern and fear that I had, and I've talked to other mothers, is, 'Am I going to go full term? I'm doing everything by the book that I think I can do,' and it's just out of our hands at that point."

Motherhood isn't the only thing that's been keeping Lachey busy. She recently wrapped a pilot for NBC, "Not Safe for Work," which could get picked up by the network ahead of the upcoming TV upfronts.

"It's a multi-cam comedy -- I love laughing and making people laugh, I think it's one of the best medicines," said Lachey, a former Miss Teen USA who has appeared in roles on shows like "30 Rock" and "How I Met Your Mother."

"It was just great to be a new mom and still feel like I could creatively have this outlet of doing a television show," she added. "I love this role of being a mother and the fact that in this day in age I can be a working mother and juggle the two is awesome."