Hi Chaco -
It gets easier with practice. Are your pedals single-sided or two sided? If they are platforms on the other side, just use the platform for a few pedal strokes until you can clip in. Even if they are double-sided, just keep pushing with the unclipped foot until you are past the intersection and stable rolling, and then worry about clipping in.
The other part of it is that the pedals will break in after a few rides and you won't have to work so hard to get them to engage. The more you do it the easier it gets; and your muscle memory will kick in as well - your feet/legs will remember the right positions and you won't have to think about it so much.
Everybody does an Artie Johnson when going clipless - the goal is not to do it too many times, or in front of too large an audience.
2008 Rans V3 - steel steed
1984 Trek 620 - old warhorse