June 16, 2015 07:15 PM

A stack of books, an impeccable nursery: Tamera Mowry-Housley started off her first pregnancy with a plan.

But now that she’s pregnant with a sibling — a girl! — for 2½-year-old son Aden John Tanner, the mom-to-be is discovering a whole new side to the experience.

“I remember being in Aden’s nursery before he was born, making sure everything was clean and tidy,” Mowry-Housley, 36, says in the July issue of American Baby.

“I was with [my twin sisterTia [Mowry-Hardrict] and she started chuckling. When I asked her why she was laughing, she said, ‘Enjoy the room and how it looks now, because once you have the baby, his stuff is going to be all over the place.’ “

She adds, “Of course, she was right!”

American Baby

American Baby

Mowry-Housley is taking a laid-back approach leading up to her daughter’s arrival. After struggling to shed her pregnancy pounds following her son’s birth, the expectant mama is prepared to take it slow.

“After Aden, I thought I’d have my flat stomach back in a month by nursing. But I didn’t! I wondered, ‘What is wrong with me?’ ” she recalls.

“But my pediatrician said that there are some women who keep on 15 lbs. when they are nursing, while others burn fat like crazy. I could not lose the last 15 lbs. until Aden was weaned.”

The Real co-host — who admits she “showed a lot sooner” this time around — takes the same approach to weight gain surrounding her baby bump. “Every woman carries pregnancy differently,” she explains. “I carry big. It doesn’t matter how much I eat or exercise, I make big babies.”

And in between dodging husband Adam Housley‘s strong cologne and chasing after a toddler, Mowry-Housley is finding out entirely new perks to having play dates while pregnant.

“Tia’s son, Cree, and my son, Aden, are the cutest when they’re together,” she shares. “When the cousins see each other, that’s when Tia and I actually get a break because the boys don’t want us — they just want to be able to play with each other.”

American Baby

— Anya Leon

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