It's been over eight years since model and actress Anna Nicole Smith died, leaving behind her 8-month-old daughter
Now 9 years old
, Dannielynn and father and Anna Nicole's ex, Larry Birkhead, sat down with ET's Kevin Frazier to discuss what their lives have been like since the star's death
"I look at her and she's my everything," Larry, 42, said of his little girl. "When I see how big she's become, I'm just so proud of her… She reminds me so much of her mom and as she gets older, and her features are changing, it's just like having a little miniature Anna Nicole running around in so many ways."
"A lot of that [life] seems like that's a blur," Larry said. "If it weren't for Dannielynn I would say, 'Did any of this really happen?' Life's [was] so fast paced you know? Raising her on my own… it doesn't feel near as crazy."
During Anna Nicole's pregnancy, and even after her death from a drug overdose in Florida, many wondered if Dannielynn would be damaged by the Playboy star's alcohol and drug use. But the fourth grader has grown into a normal, healthy young girl who loves playing games and spending time with her dad.
Opening up about her hobbies, Dannielynn told ET that she loves playing video games -- especially building cruise ships in the popular computer game, Minecraft -- and that she enjoys traveling with her father to the Bahamas.
The Bahamas was the beginning of the end for Anna Nicole. Three days after Dannielynn was born, Anna Nicole's son Daniel died from a lethal combination of drugs while visiting his mother and his newborn half-sister in the hospital. Both Anna Nicole and her son were laid to rest in the Bahamas.
"We go back all the time and we go to [Anna Nicole's] grave. We visit and I tell Dannielynn stories about her mom," Larry explained. "I don't sugar coat it. I say there are some things that your mom did and you know I try to make her learn from it."
Larry opened up about the challenges of explaining, to his daughter, the complex public life Anna Nicole became famous for, and the good person she actually was, outside of the lens of public scrutiny.
"There is YouTube these days and that stuffs out there and my daughter likes to google already and I'm trying to keep her from it," Larry explained. "She'll see things, you know, when she grows up, that not necessarily all true. Was [Anna Nicole] wild? Yeah, sure. But [she was] a great lady, and a great mom."
Ultimately, Larry revealed that he's immensely happy to have his little girl in his life, and he takes personal pride in giving her a normal, simple childhood.
"I think [about] how far she's come, and all the craziness that swirled around her and that she was just, really none the wiser. Just a little kid doing her thing like she's supposed to be," Larry said. "That's the one thing that I'm most proud of that I've done -- trying to keep everything as normal as I can, in just a really crazy, crazy situation."