Okay, here is the very last henna belly photo I will subject you to, unless of course you’d like to view the whole damn set, and who would blame you if you wouldn’t?

2215423983_82df76a8fe.jpg

I took that with a tripod and the self-timer on my camera, and I put a dog-hair-covered black blanket behind me and then I used Photoshop to black out the remainder of the background and these photos are officially the most self-obsessed thing I’ve about ever done because seriously, it occupied me throughout Riley’s entire naptime today and I tried on all kinds of outfits and I took about a thousand crappy images and if you’re wondering about the goofily downturned head it is because I could not deploy a facial expression that didn’t make me look like I was trying to act like Demi Fucking Moore or some shit, but WHAT THE HELL, I’m a thousand months pregnant and it’s very unlikely I’ll ever be pregnant again and I kind of wanted professional photos to document this last stage but these will have to do, dog hair and all.

I posted these on Flickr despite the fact that there sure are a lot of skeevy people who enjoy favoriting maternity photos, every few days I’ll see that someone has added one of my pictures to their collection of ripely enormous women and I’m just thinking, the hell? I know we all have our kinks but big pregnant bellies, really? Poor delusional bastards, someday they’ll actually be with a pregnant woman and their fantasies will be rudely crushed by the decidedly unsexy reality of acid reflux, gas, congestion, and hemorrhoids.

In other, non-body-part-exposing blog content, I have two questions for you. First: I have a copy of All the Pretty Horses on my nightstand which I am loving but it is taking me forever to read, probably because my brain is utterly useless at this point since it’s full of PLACENTA or something, and I’m planning a trip to the used bookstore this weekend to stock up on some light reading. You know, beach books, except it’s January and the weather sucks ass. Do you have any suggestions for fast-paced, entertaining novels that don’t feature high heels on the cover?

Second: I’d like to create a book out of my entries back over at ClubMom, just as a keepsake for me. I’ve looked into Blurb, and although their software seems like it has the right features, it’s slow as hell and crashy and generally is a pain to work with (at least on my Mac, dealing with a LOT of entries and pictures — its performance may well be a thousand times better under different circumstances). I’d like to use something that can automagically grab my blog content while it’s still hosted on Typepad, and dump it into something I can print — rather than, say, me having to format everything myself in some big gnarly Word document. Have any of you had any experience with successfully doing this?

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Michele
16 years ago

Each year – I use http://www.blogprinting.com – and I now have nice paperbacks of each year of my “diary.” I have no complaints. And the version I used (they come in different formats) was like $11. For a whole years worth of blogging that goes in my hope chest.

Michele
16 years ago

Oh – I should add that while I’m moving to WordPress – All my stuff was with Movable Type – so I didn’t use the TypePad portion, but I know it’s available.

shygirl
shygirl
16 years ago

What a beautiful photograph! You look stunning. That’s a really great memento– I don’t think you could have done better than this even with a professional photographer!

angela
angela
16 years ago

My BF keeps saying he wants to knock me up because pregnant chicks are hot (he has 3 kids). UM, NO. Also, I have friends who have had awesome luck with the iPhoto mac self-publishing thing. I don’t know the particulars though.

Michele – That Blogprinting site looks easy enough, but they don’t have any samples. Or am I just not seeing them?

bleeding espresso
16 years ago

You prove that a little bit of self-absorption can be absolutely beautiful. Brava :)

Shana
Shana
16 years ago

How did you keep the dog hair blanket up behind you?

I like th elook of the blog printing site too, but would definitely need to see some kind of product.

You look beautiful, Linda! :)

Nicole
16 years ago

I did the same thing when I was pregnant, but I did them myself because I was so horrified by my ‘deformed’ body that I couldn’t imagine asking anyone else to look at it. After the hormones calmed down a bit, I realized that they were really beautiful photos, and I’ve had one framed in my daughter’s room since she was born. I dealt with the retarded facial expressions by simply cutting off my head and focusing on the belly. Seriously, looking downwards with my already sexalicious double chin? I was not going to save that for posterity.
I do have a good suggestion for easy beach reading- “Bitter is the New Black” by Jen Lancaster. I loved it- and its easy without falling into the whole cutesy romance chick lit thing.

Donna
Donna
16 years ago

Wow! The pictures are awesome, I esp like the one straight on showing the entire tattoo, plus you are smiling more.
I’ve got to learn to work my photoshop dammit.
These are by far the best pregnancy photos I’ve ever seen.
(And also, I have an urge to give you a zerbert! Sorry if that’s weird….)

Chiara
16 years ago

You are so beautiful–I just love the henna. I miss you, a lot. I’ve been meaning to tell you that lately.

ollka
ollka
16 years ago

What a wonderful image! You look stunning, and such inventiveness in capturing these moments of your life is truly impressive. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have the energy for any such thing.

Re: books, I thought I’d share my love for everything by Joanne Harris, she’s the author of Chocolat (the one the awesome movie was based on), and her books are deeply absorbing, with lots of texture, and very very well written.

incvd
incvd
16 years ago

Nice work on the self-portrait, looks like a professional shot. Lighting is particularly great.

Maybe sway All The Pretty Horses for No Country For Old Men?

Keaton
Keaton
16 years ago

I’m not much of a reader, but I must admit (guilty pleasure, this one) that I really enjoyed the His Dark Materials series (Golden Compass). Sure, it’s technically a fantasy series for people who think Shia LaBeouf and Zac Effron are the greatest thing on Earth (save for the polar bear battles and atheist message!), but it’s awesome, addicting and it took me about a week to read the whole thing (granted, I read A LOT). It’s fun, to say the least.

JennM
16 years ago

Janet Evanovich books are entertaining. They are about a bounty hunter chick who is really pretty clumsy and unlucky. And technically, they don’t have high heels on the cover but there is some romance. Not normally my type of books but I’ve read all of them b/c they are a fast read and keep me laughing.

Claire
Claire
16 years ago

Your henna belly photos look great and professional, and also you are hilarious. I’m enjoying the Dexter series (Dexter Darkly Dreaming or something is the first one) but I’m not sure if these would be in a used bookstore, but one can always dream.

Melissa
Melissa
16 years ago

Beautiful pic. It’s worth all the time spent – you might not be pregnant again and you probably won’t have selfish time again for a while! Enjoy it. :)
I loved A Thousand Splendid Suns…quick read.

Kelsey
16 years ago

That photo is gorgeous. My pregnancy will simply not be documented like that, but I fully support the great job you’ve done. I think I have two pictures from my first pregnancy and I’ll probably take one or two at the end of this one, just in case the kids every want to see. . . but they will not be on the web!!!

As far as book suggestions I think you can’t go wrong with Jennifer Weiner, even though I’m pretty sure some of her books MIGHT have high heels on the cover. . . (One of them is called “In Her Shoes”). She often gets lumped in with “chick lit” which doesn’t bother me, but makes it difficult for some people to take her seriously. I have never been disappointed with one of her books and I am dying for the new one which doesn’t come out until April. You might even have some luck with her in the used book store. Happy hunting!

Kelsey
16 years ago

P.S. Let us know what you do about the Club Mom entries. I’m afraid that blogger will stop functioning someday in the future and my blog will be lost, I’m very interested in any suggestions for ways to preserve it, and I’m not particularly tech savvy. Sadly the quick print thing another commenter recommended doesn’t currently work with blogger, boo.

Kathryn
Kathryn
16 years ago

If you’re looking for light, entertaining, but not chick lit-type books, try Christopher Moore, particularly Lamb.

Also, I’d second the Janet Evanovich books, but only the Stephanie Plum series. The rest of her stuff is ridiculously bad chick lit. At least the Stephanie Plum books have a mystery to detract from the cheesy romance.

Kim
Kim
16 years ago

Absolutely amazing, gorgeous pictures. You take beautiful ones of your family all the time; it’s about time there are some great ones of you!
Books, books, books – they are my life! Some great ones I’ve read lately are Candy:A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody, the woman who wrote the screenplay for Juno (loved it too!), I Love You Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle (a writer on The Simpsons), How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper (looks cheesy, but is crazily great), How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo…oh, I could go on and on. Sorry about the book rant, but they make me excited. I just started the new Stephen King and it seems good; I just don’t know if they’d have it at a used store yet.

Allie
Allie
16 years ago

The henna came out just gorgeous! Thank you for sharing those with us. And look at your splendid baby bellah.

My husband I use Lulu.com for our home publishing business, and they are great. Highly recommend them.

Good luck!

Becky
16 years ago

Wow. Very nice.

I’m reading Life of Pi right now. But, nah, I wouldn’t recommend it for a “beach read.” Too much talk of swimming pools and zoos and how that’s supposed to make me believe in God …

For fairly quick reads (with the added benefit of sometimes laughing out loud), I like Sarah Vowell, David Sedaris or Chuck Palahniuk.

Kristin H
Kristin H
16 years ago

Oooh, Carl Hiaasen! Carl Hiaasen! Anything by him will keep you mightily entertained.

Claire
16 years ago

I recommend “Gods in Alabama” by Joshilyn Jackson. It reads like a short story but it’s a novel that’s funny, quirky, and just a good all around read.

Jess
16 years ago

The pictures are gorgeous!! Seriously, you should model. Most women would kill to look that amazing in “full bloom.” I just finished the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I know, it’s in youth literature section but I couldn’t put it down. Really fun. Fast paced. No brainer easy read, but deliciously entertaining.

Coleen
16 years ago

Please don’t ban me from your website. I just picked up “The DaVinci Code” because my brain seriously needed a reading rest, and I couldn’t handle any more chick lit. It is so mindless and meaningless that I can’t help but recommend it for you.

Seriously. Don’t ban me. You’re so pretty!

Laurie
Laurie
16 years ago

Read “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks or Richard Russo’s latest.

Lawyerish
16 years ago

Beautiful photo. I can’t get over how great you look. And now I think you’re officially ready to have a baby.

I just read “A Ship Made of Paper” by Scott Spencer, and I literally read it on the beach so I can tell you it is great beachy reading without being brainless. It’s beautifully written and is filled with tension and vivid characters, and overall I just loved it. He also wrote “Endless Love”, which is supposed to be excellent as well, even though the title is goofy.

Oddly enough, I recently reread “The Great Gatsby” and I am telling everyone I know to read (or reread) it ASAP. It is so, so awesome. And now I’m on a Fitzgerald kick, currently on “The Beautiful and Damned”, which is also literary without being at all dry. You know, Jazz Age and all.

Other recent favorites: “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld, “Special Topics in Calamity Physics” by Marisha Pessl, and (a few years back but still awesome) “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt.

jen
jen
16 years ago

you are seriously all belly and boob– if you don’t mind me saying. lol. checking out the set of photos with the size of those jeans i would never guess that you have baked dozens of cookies as you claim. is that even true? ;) btw the photos are lovely! way to get it all done during rileys nap because that would completely take me two days, a two month break and the bf finishing them off later. they are so neat. you come up with the coolest ideas.

Erica
16 years ago

You look GORGEOUS in your photos. Especially having taken them yourself. STP is going to love seeing them when he’s older.

I second the recommendations for Janet Evanovich. Her books are fast-paced, funny and pretty much fluff. They don’t require heavy thinking.

I don’t know what genre you like, but the last books I was obsessed with were the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. It’s technically teen lit, but I loved them. I read one a day for three days.

Claudia
16 years ago

I just finished reading exactly the kind of book you’re looking for: Other People’s Dirt by Louise Rafkin. Funny, super easy to read, interesting but light. Put it down, pick it up….perfect for that last week of pregnancy (and trust me, I know).

Liz
Liz
16 years ago

Check out The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken.
I love recommending this book to people, and I haven’t ever heard of anyone not loving it.
Also, anything by Eleanor Lippman is always a good read. Her books are all based on quirkly, hysterical, and wonderful women “of a certain age.” Sort of the Chick Lit genre, All Grown Up and with a greater sense of maturity.

{I love the henna photos!}

Liz
Liz
16 years ago

Um, make that “Elinor Lipman”

Jamie
16 years ago

I just read Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. I really liked it.

Jess
16 years ago

I love Marian Keyes for books that are quick and entertaining and easy to read, but still well-written and with some point to them. Some are more serious than others. Sushi for Beginners, Last Chance Saloon, and Angels are some of the lighter ones.

All Adither
16 years ago

I can’t see any dog hair.

kate
16 years ago

These photos are gorgeous and if you wouldn’t have said otherwise, I would have thought they were professional. What a great keepsake.

ladyloo
16 years ago

The Thursday Next series are quick, entertaing reads. Don’t require a lot of brainpower at all.

Becky
Becky
16 years ago

LOVE the pics!!!!!

babs
16 years ago

I’m reading “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult right now, and it’s amazingly fast. Most of her books don’t take much brainpower. (I love when you ask for recommendations… I’ve discovered tons of great music and books this way!)

Leticia
Leticia
16 years ago

Kerflop had posted an entry covering this a while back…here’s the link. It had some good info…
http://kerflop.com/2007/09/05/that-time-of-the-year-again/

Awesome picture. Less than 2 weeks left. Wow.

Lora
Lora
16 years ago

I like to read Preston/Child novels. They are slightly creepy and have interesting characters.
There is a whole series that starts with “The Relic”(which spawned a dorky movie)..
and I love “The Codex” and “Thunderhead”

You look great! I was thinking maybe he came sooner, because it seemed like a while since I read one of these… enjoy these last few days of “relative” peace!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
16 years ago

Your pictures look great! I can’t wait to meet STP!

Kim in MT
16 years ago

First time commenting here… very entertaining blog you have here. I love the belly pics, but not in a skeezy way. Try “The Monkey Wrench Gang” by Edward Abbey, very fun and funny book. And no high heels involved whatsoever.

gabby
gabby
16 years ago

Things I’ve read / am reading:
Momma Zen
Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs – Chuch Klosterman
The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale

And I don’t think you can ever go wrong with anything by Nick Hornby!

She Likes Purple
16 years ago

You look stunning in those pictures and GEEZ they certainly look professional.

Also, my favorite book (and it’s a quick read!) is The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Enjoy :)

Anonymous
Anonymous
16 years ago

I guess you couldn’t really call them “light” reading because they are about a serial killer, but I have been enjoying the Dexter series and find them to be a quick read.

Lori
16 years ago

I guess you couldn’t really call them “light” reading because they are about a serial killer, but I have been enjoying the Dexter series and find them to be a quick read.

Elaine
Elaine
16 years ago

The covers look kind of like chick lit, but I’ve really enjoyed the “Confessions of a Demon-Hunter Soccer Mom” books by Julie Kenner. There are three in the series so far, and they’re described as Buffy getting married and moving to the ‘burbs.

Andrea
Andrea
16 years ago

lulu.com lets you make books..

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

you took that yourself?! When I first saw it I was sure it was professionally done. Nice job!

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