Jumping rope is something that takes time. If you have a decent rope (leather or plastic - not actual rope), then you can get the hang of it fairly quickly.
I started off only able to do 30 seconds to 1 minute before needing a break. After some practice, I was easily doing 1-2 minute rounds and later, up to 6 rounds of 3 minutes each with ease. Here are some tips should you decide to keep up with jump roping:
It's best if you can do it on a slightly forgiving surface such as a wood platform or in a boxing ring. I do them on the concrete, and with the right shoes, they are fine. Again, you have to give yourself time to do them.
You should take small jumps (hops) and be able to quickly turn the rope. Also, because you and I are both short, you must be sure to get the right length of rope. For us, 8-9 feet is perfect. Anything longer than 9 feet will have too much slack.
Over time, it will be less uncomfortable and you will notice that it's actually not that loud (small hops and the whisping of the rope without hitting the ground is hardly noticeable). Shoot for 120-180 revolutions per minute once you are proficient.
If you still find that it's a problem, then definitely look into alternatives. You can do a lot with a simple GPP circuit consisting of jumping jacks, shuffle splits, burpees and hops or something similar. Do them for 30 seconds each for several sets (4 exercises, 30 seconds each, 2 minutes per set).
No problem about picking my brain. I'm more than willing to give you some advice on equipment and such.