Thank you all so much for your kind words and suggestions this week. Boy did I need them. I was kind of getting a little nutsy, home all alone all day with a frustrated baby who doesn't understand why Mommy is so grumpy.
I tried a number of your suggestions. Jody, I tried putting her in my Peapod Cuddly Wrap to carry her around with me, but she hated it just as much as she did when she was teeny. So instead, I just carry her for awhile and do everything one handed. If I'm unloading the dishwasher I give her one of her plastic spoons to play with while I finish. And while doing the laundry I put her in the basket on top of the clothes and carry her up and down the two floors -- she thinks that's hilarious! The first day carrying a 22-pound seven-month-old around with one arm all day was a little tough, but boy you should feel my bicep now!
I also decided that she's probably bored with playing with the same toys and hanging out doing the same things all day long. I'm a bit of a homebody, and staying home for 4 or 5 days at a stretch really doesn't bother me. But I think Gracie needs a little extra stimulation. So I signed us up for the public library's BabyTime (she cried through the entire first session), and I'm looking into taking her to the pool (Julie will be proud). Since I'm currently on foot while Nate's truck is getting fixed, I've also taken her on a walk every day this week, and she really seemed to like that.
Also, shortly after I wrote that post, my inlaws called to say they bought us a walker while they were down in the States! Yayyy! We will be going to pick it up in a few days, but just knowing that it is coming is making me a happy lady. We do have an exersaucer and a jolly jumper, but she's been in them since she was three months old and is sick of them. Hopefully this walker will make things better.
So thank you all very much. All those things helped, but I also got to the bottom of WHY I was getting so nutsy and grumpy. Because honestly, this last 7 months have been the best 7 months of my life. Turns out, I really love being a stay-at-home Mom. For the first time in so many years I can't remember, I actually want to get out of bed in the morning. I spend all day playing with a sweet little cutie pie who seems to like my singing voice and loves it when I tickle her and flip her upside down. When she's sleeping I do some housework, bake some cookies, water my flowers, do a little redecorating -- all the things I wanted to do when I was working but didn't have time.
So when all the other women around me are talking about how they can't wait to get back to work, I always wonder why on earth you would WANT to go back to never-ending stress and 60 hour weeks. And that's when it hit me: other people don't have jobs with never-ending stress and 60 hour weeks. And for the first time I realized how much I was dreading going back to work -- even if it will be in my own home working for myself. And the whole time Gracie's been going through this grumpy phase, all I can think about is this: I have to start up my home-based business in 3 months, and what on earth will I do if she's still like this when I have to get some work done?
But I have decided I will cross that bridge when I get to it, and not worry about it until then. Three months is a long time in the life of Gracie -- a lot can change between now and then, and I'm probably worrying myself sick over nothing. So until then, I will change my expectation of how much I can get done in a day, and just enjoy my walking time with Gracie.
P.S. This may be a bit too much info for some, but I also decided that my birth control patch was making me a bit loopy. Anybody else try it and have trouble with it? I went to the doctor on Thursday and she's recommending an IUD. I think I will try it.