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By Kat Giantis
The circumstantial stork evidence is piling up for Penelope Cruz. First, there was her reported bout of food poisoning at the Cannes Film Festival in May, which the tabloids quickly diagnosed as possible morning sickness. Then came rumblings of her seemingly fuller figure and a sudden penchant for bulky shirts, along with the alleged kicking of her nicotine habit. Now, the rumor mill has hit overload with talk that she's expecting a genetic lottery winner with boyfriend Javier Bardem.
JustJared.com claims the actress does indeed have a bun baking in her oven, with a source maintaining, "Penelope is about four months pregnant. She's really healthy now and will be a great mother."
So far, Cruz's rep remains mum on the bundle of joy burblings, despite our repeated requests for comment, and the star foiled armchair obstetricians by opting for a draping, belly-camouflaging green gown at Monday's Berlin premiere of "Broken Embraces."
Penelope, 35, and Javier, 40, who first appeared together on-screen in 1992's "Jamón, Jamón," began dating in 2007 while filming the Woody Allen-directed flick "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which earned the actress an Oscar.
"I think I would be a perfect mother," she bubbled last year. "I love babies."
RELATED: See more photos of Penelope Cruz
Moving on to more concrete procreation news, Nicole Richie has been keeping busy while awaiting the arrival of her second offspring with boyfriend Joel Madden (their criminally cute tot, Harlow, is 19 months old) by designing and modeling a new bohemian-themed maternity line for A Pea in the Pod.
According to People magazine, the collection is set to arrive in stores on Friday and will feature such Nicole style staples as peasant tops and comfy maxidresses. Prices will range from $48 to $148.
"You really feel like you have to change your whole wardrobe [when you're pregnant]," says Richie. "And that's the last thing a woman wants to go through. So I really tried to make this line to get women excited about wearing clothes."
The starlet, who won't pop for a few more months, recently flashed her expanding belly for paparazzi while strolling on a beach with Joel, and, as you'd expect, she's believes the enceinte state is something to be celebrated.
"I think the pregnant body is beautiful," she enthuses, "and I think you should show it off."
Meanwhile, Nicole's pal Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is reveling in 8-month-old Bronx Mowgli's developmental milestones.
"Every week, I'm learning something new from him and every week, he's doing something new," she shared this week (via OK! magazine) while stumping for the forthcoming "Melrose Place" redo. "He's crawling and he's got six teeth now. He says ‘mama' and ‘dada.' He loves music. Lately, he likes classic rock and Broadway music! My home life is all about Bronx."
Rhapsodizes Ashlee, "Motherhood has made me everything that I am. It's made me the happiest I've ever been in my life."
And finally, Heidi Klum, who's expecting her fourth child -- a girl -- this fall (she and hubby Seal are already parents to Henry, 3, Johan, 2, and Leni, 5), is counting the days until she can reclaim her pre-baby figure, something she thinks won't be much of a problem.
"I've never really had any special girdle machines or anything like that," the "Project Runway" mogul points out to the Associated Press. "For me, it's, you know, really healthy foods, exercising, playing with the children, going to the park. Normal things."
And while Klum isn't a big fan of dieting, "I also do not sit on the couch with my feet up and eat one potato chip bag after the next and one burger after the other," she says. "I think you have to kind of do a little bit of everything."
And the sooner, the better.
"I feel like if I drag it out too long, I'm not going to do it," she figures. "So for me, it works to kind of get back into shape, afterwards, I feel great. I can put my normal clothes back on and it makes me happy, and it's worked so far."
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