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Inside Jessica's Baby Shower

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One year ago Jessica Simpson was anxiously awaiting the birth of her daughter; this year 11-month-old Maxwell was a special guest at the April 14 shower celebrating another imminent arrival: that of her little brother. “I’ve been pregnant for years!” jokes Simpson, who admits she was “shocked” when she found out she was expecting again. “I was in the middle of a weight-loss mission, starting to feel a little bit normal again, and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Put the brakes on!’ ”

At the Tom Sawyer-themed affair, celebrity event planner Mindy Weiss pulled out all the stops for the 48 guests gathered at the Hotel Bel-Air. “My mom came up with the theme,” says Simpson, 32. “The southern, laid-back vibe was so nice.”

The Fashion Star mentor’s approach to baby No. 2 has been similarly mellow. “I’m a lot less anxious this pregnancy. I’m a lot more easygoing,” she says. “This time around I’ve been less about the fashion and more about the comfort. With Maxwell I tried to wear heels the whole time, but it hurt my knees. Now I’m wearing more flats!” In terms of cravings, “with my first pregnancy, I really let go. I felt like I deserved to eat whatever I wanted,” says Simpson. “Now I’m working out three times a week. I’ve only gained half of what I did during my first pregnancy.”

Still, she was thrilled to see a few of her favorite southern staples at her shower. “I always love some fried chicken!” she says. “And it was cute to have a grilled-cheese station. Maxwell really loved that.” Maxwell also enjoyed when her dad, former NFL player Eric Johnson, 33, stopped by. “Maxwell is definitely a daddy’s girl. If he’s in the room, she doesn’t want anybody else to hold her,” Simpson says. “So I hope my son will be a mama’s boy!” And she is sure that he will get along with his big sister. “I don’t want the competitive vibe,” says Simpson. “I think they’ll be really close. And he’ll always want to date older girls because he’ll meet all of Maxwell’s friends!”